If I Knew Then What I Know Now
The other night, my family and I were reading a devotion book after dinner. That night’s theme was gratefulness. We were asked to name five things we were grateful for. My six year old rattled off his list. Now I don’t remember everything he said and in what order but it was along the lines of: spiderman suit, nerf toy gun, toy car and a couple other toys… He is most grateful for five toys in his life. Funny he never mentioned anything about education, opportunities, an amazing dad, and perhaps clean water, if he had any idea what most of the world has to deal with. Obviously, I’m not having a go at my six year old for not showing the maturity that evades me at times. My point is he can only speak from his perspective. He has never had to be concerned about food, clothes or shelter and so that’s not really something he’s thankful for. But there’s a big wide world out there and his perspective is going to change.
I’m sure when you’ve looked back you’ve seen your perspective change. Perhaps there are things you believed and ways you acted that now make you cringe. We all change our thinking as we experience more of life. With that being the truth for any maturing adult, do you ever think about how your perspective may change in the future? Who you are now and how you think now will almost certainly change in the future. I think it’s good to have a healthy appreciation for the gaps in our experience and knowledge – otherwise known as ignorance. In my opinion, the best word to describe this state of mind is humility.
James 4:6b tells us God opposes the proud but shows favour to the humble. Even if you don’t prescribe to the Christian worldview, I think this is self-evident. People who enter a relationship, a dialogue, a business deal, marriage, and so on in humility, gain favour. People like them. Humility is the mindset that says I don’t know everything but I’m willing to listen, learn, and change. I always have and I always will.
So here is a self-searching question for us all. How do I approach people – in pride or humility?
I’d love to know what you think. Flick me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org