We picked out another Helen Lester book at the library the other day, called Me First. I thought it would be a good conversation starter, and although it has been, I realized that the moral of the story is actually selfishly polite. Why should we share? Because sometimes being first isn’t desirable for my pleasure or comfort. It’s not a bad story, but it’s not complete.
I remembered again that politeness is a strength of the moral, non-biblical mother. But manners isn’t biblical in itself. If I’m going to be biblical, I have to get my motives right. So I told David the story of Jesus washing the disciples feet found in John 13:4-17. I asked him, Did Jesus say, “Serve me first”? In this case, the questions are more important than their understanding of the passage. I’m reading the passage to communicate that the Bible is our authority (not Helen Lester, or any other human person). On another occasion this week, we turned to Philipians 2:3-8. I asked, Is Paul telling us to be “Me-first” people, or “You-first” people? Again, the question is more important to me than whether he understands the passage.
Several times this week I’ve followed up with asking both David and Bethel if they’re acting like the disciples who were fighting over who would be first. It’s been a good passage to work on.
And… it’s been a good passage for me, too. So many of my own decisions are about me, first. I’m praying that God will help me to serve others first.