My friends often comment on how well behaved my children are, and for the most part, I would agree. But I have got to be honest, there are many days that our youngest breaks me. Until recently, I wondered where on earth she had gotten some of her shenanigans.
Need an example?
A couple of weeks ago, Mia and I were shopping and she asked if she could have a particular toy that I was purchasing for a friend’s daughter for her birthday, and I told her, “not this time.” She was shocked that I wouldn’t compromise or be persuaded into buying her the toy, so…
She begged, as she flung herself to the floor.
She pleaded, as she clung to my legs.
She threatened, and believe me when I say: she’s actually a little scary.
The scene ended with her throwing a five year old tantrum.
After we were home, we talked about her not always getting her way and about her attitude of generosity, but I also emphasized that it was nothing that she had done wrong, but the answer was still a resounding no.
Later that evening, I was surprised to learn that I needed to review the same lesson I was trying to teach my child.
As she and I were preparing dinner, I turned on the stove, but instead of getting the familiar smell of gas, I heard a click, click, click.
It didn’t take us long to realize that our wires crossed and we hadn’t paid the bill.
I figured I would just call and they would turn it on again; after all it was only $67.00.
The answer was no.
We would have to wait five days to have it turned on again.
After having a curt conversation with customer service, I waited on hold for 40 minutes for the supervisor who I knew would fix my problem.
The answer was still a resounding no.
So I begged, as I dropped to the floor.
I pleaded, as my eyes began to sting with unshed tears.
And then my eyes shifted and landed on my daughter’s face. As I looked into her eyes, I knew that I had a choice. I could throw a grown-up sized tantrum, or I could ‘walk the walk’ before her and handle it with the poise and delicacy of Christ.
With the Spirit’s prompting, my attitude shifted towards Christ.
Instead of being angry about the gas being off, I praised Him for the electricity that was still on.
Instead of throwing a tantrum like an oversized toddler, I praised Him for the warm days that were forecasted.
With further prompting, I realized that my daughter and I shared an attitude of entitlement.
Sometimes when the Spirit begins to uncover an area, what’s underneath isn’t pretty. But we have to acknowledge that the arrogance of entitlement is both subtle and poisonous to our walks because it threatens the very nature of the reflection of Christ in our lives.
As rooted moms, we will do more to teach our children by how we live than by what we say to them; therefore, if we want them to display the attributes of Christ, we must be intentional about living it before them.
Today, if you are challenged with something unexpected or undesirable, display an attitude of humility, dig deep and find the attitude of grace that the Spirit provides and praise Him.
Word of the Day:
For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted. Luke 14:11 (NIV).
Father, I thank you for my challenges that illuminate the opportunities for you to shine through me. In those moments when I begin to reflect an attitude of entitlement, I ask that your Spirit prompt me to demonstrate humility and grace, in Jesus’ name, amen.