Sunday, 29 November -0001 18:42

Youth Page

Written by Mrs. Doreen Tamminga
Words. Words. Words. Everywhere we go, we hear words being spoken and people talking. Listen to these children talking, and imagine that they are talking to you:

A few children are crowding around the slide on the playground: ÒHey!Ó one of them says to you, ÒI was here first. You can wait!Ó

You are playing outside in the yard with your brother, and you want to play in the sandbox, but he says, ÒWell, I donÕt feel like playing in the sandbox. LetÕs go play tag instead.Ó

Your class is crowding onto the bus for a class trip, and you hear some kids say, ÒWe get the back seats; itÕs our bus!Ó

DinnerÕs over and itÕs time to do the dishes. Your sister complains to your mom, ÒWhy doesnÕt she have to help with the dishes? I always have to help!Ó

You are at a birthday party with your friends, and one of them asks you, ÒWhat did you buy for a present? Only that? I gave a really cool present.Ó

Has anyone ever said something like this to you? How did it make you feel? Not very good, I would guess. What is it about these words that make them sound mean? Did you notice that in each little story, the person who was talking was only thinking about himself or herself? They did not stop to think about how you would feel; they only tried to get what they wanted. Now stop and think for a moment. Have you ever said anything like this before? You probably have, havenÕt you? These kinds of words just seem to come out of our mouths before we even know weÕre saying them.

What this kind of talk shows about us, is that we are selfish. We think about ourselves first. When we have to take turns, we often want to go first. When we have time to play, we usually want to play the game that we like. When itÕs time for a class trip, we want the best seats on the bus. When itÕs time to do some chores at home, we make sure that everyone else gets just as much work as we have. When weÕre at a birthday party, we want everyone to like our present and maybe even like it the most. This shows that we are selfish--we think about ourselves first.

When did this happen? When did we become selfish? Were we always this way? Well, the answer can be found by looking at a very small child. Maybe you have a little brother or sister. He or she needs to learn many things, and maybe you help him by teaching him to walk, you read books to him, and teach him to talk, to say words like ÒmommyÓ and ÒdaddyÓ and Òdoggy.Ó You teach him many other things too: not to throw his juice cup on the floor, not to pull the lamp off the table, and to come quickly when Mom calls.

But sometimes your little brother doesnÕt listen to you. You tell him to come, but he quickly runs the other way. You tell him not to touch something, and he grabs it. You tell him to share his toys, but he says, ÒNo!Ó Who taught your little brother to do what he wants? To go where he wants to go? To touch what he wants to touch? And to not share his toys? You didnÕt teach him these things, did you? In fact, nobody had to teach him these things. But still he does them. Even a little baby already knows how to be selfish, to do the things that he wants. So you see that we did not become selfish when we turned three or four years old, we did not become selfish when we started going to school. No, we were already selfish from the day we were born.

Selfishness is a sin that lies deep in our hearts, planted there from the time we were born. It is a weed that needs to be constantly pulled out. But to pull it out, we first need to recognize it. Can you see this weed in your heart? How have you been selfish with your friends, your brothers and sisters, and your classmates? Think of the times when you wanted your way, or when you didnÕt want to spend your time helping someone else. These are sins of selfishness in your life. They are very hard weeds to pull out. In fact, you cannot even pull these weeds out by yourself. If you think you can, why donÕt you spend a few days trying to serve everyone around you. Try thinking only of what the person next to you would like, and help him out. I think you will find that you will fail if you try it on your own. Instead, you need to ask the Lord Jesus for forgiveness for this sin of selfishness, and then ask for His help in being thoughtful towards other people.

There were many people in the Bible that acted selfishly. There were also many people that thought about others first. We can learn from these people. Can you make a list of people that acted in selfish ways, and another list of thoughtful people? Here are some hints to help you get started. Think of all the people in the story of the Good Samaritan. Think of Joseph and his ten brothers. Think of John the Baptist when he was asked to baptize Jesus.

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