We who preach and write, do so in a manner different from which the Scriptures have been written. We write while we make progress. We learn something new every day. We speak as we still knock for understanding...If anyone criticizes me when I have said what is right, he does me an injustice. But I would be more angry with the one who praises me and takes what I have written for Gospel truth than I would be with the one who criticizes me unfairly. -Augustine

The Screwdriver

I’ll never forget the day my oldest son called me on his cell phone and asked me to bring him a screwdriver! Can you imagine? What I gave him was a piece of my mind. Then my wife asked who was on the phone. When I told her who it was and what he wanted, she told me that she would bring the screwdriver to our son! “No you won’t!!” I replied.

Supper was ruined and everyone was upset over a ridiculous screwdriver; all of this was caused by my lazy son! Well, that’s what I thought was the problem.

Later that week, I shared what happened with a friend of mine and he agreed with me that my wife should “Absolutely not!” have brought our son the screwdriver. I was relieved and vindicated. It is not often that I am in the right when I share a family conflict with him.

But my vindication only lasted for a moment. As I was departing he said, “You should have gotten it!” “WHAT?!” “That’s right” he said. “You should have gotten the screwdriver because that is the only way that you’re going to break the cycle of self-centeredness. He learned it from you. All those years, he has heard his father say, ‘get this and help me with that, and when you’re done I need you to do this and that.’ Your son needs to see you serve; then–and only then–will he learn to serve as well.”

It’s now fifteen years later. I’m happy to say that my friend’s counsel was a turning point in our lives. My son turned out to be one of the most selfless people I know. Me? I’m not what I used to be and by the grace of God I’m getting closer to who I should be.

“Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves” (Philippians 2:3).