Monday, February 20, 2012

Learning a Lesson From Tebow's Parents

In Through My Eyes, Tim Tebow talks about a rule his parents instituted in their home:
My parents decided that, with three boys around the house who were as competitive as we were, we had to institute a new rule. I was still young, and they were already concerned about the bragging that we were doing among ourselves. Here was the rule: we were forbidden from talking about our own accomplishments, unless asked first by someone else. If someone specifically asked us how the game went or how we played, we could answer, but we couldn’t volunteer the information.
He noted their inspiration for this new rule. It was Proverbs 27:2: “Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips.” Why does God command us to refrain from boasting about ourselves? And why should our children also learn this principle?

First, we can easily fool ourselves into thinking that our accomplishments are greater than they actually are. Big mouths turn into big heads, and that only results in disappointment. Kids should learn that they are not the only ones who have accomplishments. Enjoy your success, but remember that your feats are not the only ones that matter.

Secondly, no one wants to be around a braggart. Acquiring this type of reputation is sure to alienate someone from his friends. Some gifted people lose friends almost as fast as they build popularity. No matter how great your accomplishments are, the dazzle eventually wears off and only your personality will matter to others. Let’s teach our kids character traits that will help them build healthy friendships throughout life. 

Thirdly, talking about ourselves too much traps us in a self-centered life. We don’t seem to notice them, or their difficulties. Obviously, we think about what we talk about. If we talk about ourselves too much, it’s because we think about ourselves too much. This inward self-centered focus distracts us, and in turn, detracts our attention from a world of people that God wants us to love, encourage, and edify.

Fourthly, humble people resemble Christ. Popular thought may claim that humble people get run over, but, in reality, pride always ends in destruction. It’s true that humble people will take their hits, but in the end, they win friends and influence people unlike their rivals. Egotistical people try to build their own monuments, but humble people try to build people – who are inspired enough to honor their mentors with a monument. Christ gave himself, and He changed the world. If anyone could have bragged, Christ could have. Rather, he served, and the world profited.

Professional athletes who earn the reputation of humility are a rare type. Frankly, in any profession, there are not many successful people who are humble. But Christ was humble, and He was successful. Teach your children to imitate Him.