Sunday, July 16, 2017

Humility Matters

Devotional 5 focuses on a topic that is hard for adults to comprehend: humility.  This devotional, like the others, is timed for less than 10 minutes, but feel free to slow down if your kids are older or have a longer attention span.  Parents, your notes are in italics.  Happy studying! 

Humility Matters 

To Do: Read Colossians 3:1-4.  Say the verses aloud once or twice. If you've been doing these steadily, you should be getting close to being able to say the verses with some prompting. Then read Colossians 3:12-14.

Questions to Ask: 

*What does it mean to be humble? Be sure and read the dictionary definition aloud after the kids have a chance to brainstorm. Rick Warren and C.S. Lewis both have thoughts on the topic worth exploring.  

* If humility  is the opposite of pride, how was Jesus humble? Direct the kids to first think of the reasons Jesus could have had pride.  This will lead them to see how He went in an opposite direction.  Answers could include: He could have had pride in being God or in how much He knew, or in having God's favor, but instead he was born in a stable, submitted to His parents, and resisted the devil's urges to be prideful (Luke 1-4).  Be sure and take a moment to look up any stories that they don't remember the details of. 

*What do you have that you might be prideful about?  Recognize here that our real gifts are also real temptations to pride.  Answers will be individual to the child but might include being good at a sport, being smart, being pretty/handsome, having lots of friends, nice things/toys.

*What does it mean to be humble when we are victorious?  How is that like/not like being a good sport? Is it wrong to want to win?

*How can an adult be humble?  How can a child?    Take this time to talk to your kids about how you show humility in your daily life.  Be sure and give them room to think about how they can. Be sure and encourage them to think about themselves rather than simply criticizing others.  


Humility vs. pride is one of the many places where English fails us.  There is everything good about being responsible for excellence, i.e. "taking pride in a job”. It's good when parents feel joy in their children's growth and maturity, it.e. they are "proud of their kids." And pleasure in completing a challenging job?  That harmless joy is often called, "being proud of myself." These phrases and others uses the word "pride" or "proud" when in fact nothing sinful is meant. 

This truth though should not hide from our eyes the fact that pride is a real and present danger to our souls.  We cannot think we are better than any other saint or sinner.  We cannot imagine that in ourselves we are worthy of respect or honor.  We mustn't insist on the best or think ourselves above some simple job.  Our Savior shows the way here. 

Who, although He existed in the form of God, 
did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 
but emptied Himself,
taking the form of a bond-servant, 
and being made in the likeness of men. 
Being found in appearance as a man, 
He humbled Himself 
by becoming obedient to the point of death, 
even death on a cross. 

Philippians 2:6-8


  1. I really love this phrase, "our real gifts are also real temptations to pride" and how you have taught the way to go through devotions with children. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks Miriam! I am afraid that phrase comes from hard won experience as I struggled with recognizing pride in my life!

  2. I'm so glad you addressed our use of the word "pride" when talking about excellence. I've often fumbled to find another word to use when saying someone takes pride in his or her work. I can rarely think of another word to use. This can be so confusing for kids!

    1. Exactly! It is super confusing. I have seen adult classes entirely derailed as they got stuck on the definition and didn't make it to the part where they needed to identify and repent of *real& pride in their own lives!