by Dani Maddox
I recently had the opportunity to go roller skating with my two older kids. My seven-year-old son was pretty confident on his own, but my five-year-old daughter needed my help.
I spent much of my own childhood at this particular roller rink, so I’m a relatively competent skater; although, it had been quite a while since I had been on the rink. Nevertheless, I know how to skate.
My daughter, on the other hand, does not know how to skate. This was her first time.
To teach my daughter how to skate, I could have tried any number of methods. I could have sat her down on the sidelines and proceeded to show her everything I know. “Look at how good I am! Maybe you can come out here when you’re this good!”
Or maybe I could tell her to just go for it. “I know you don’t know what you’re doing, but you’ll get the hang of it….eventually!”
Perhaps I should remind her of how good I am and make sure she knows how inexperienced she is. When she falls, I could exclaim, “See! You need to remember this moment to keep you humble!”
No. Of course I did no such thing. The fact that my daughter is completely dependent on me shows true humility with no words required. She doesn’t need to focus on her mistakes; she just needs to continually rely on me to guide her through the process.
And this definitely required more than mere guidance from me. The rink was full and busy that night, so I had to let go of my need to look competent. In fact, I had to humble myself to the point of appearing to have as much skill as my daughter. But that is just fine with me as I look down at her face and see her bright eyes and wide grin. So worth it.
I couldn’t help but to think of this experience in light of how God sees us. This reminds me of a quote I read recently: “God is so secure in His sovereignty that He is not afraid to appear un-sovereign.” I believe this is because God values relationship above everything. And God, more than anyone else, understands what true relationship requires.
Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross! (Philippians 2:5-8)
Our “attitudes should be the same as that of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 12:5). So, how did Jesus humble himself? Jesus showed humility by being dependent on the Father and serving others. And we are called to do the same.
He called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 18:2-5)