Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Sheltering Unselfishly

Be unselfish. That is the first and final commandment for those who would be useful, and happy in their usefulness. If you think of yourself only, you cannot develop because you are choking the source of development, which is spiritual expansion through thought for others. ~Charles W. Eliot

I was at my desk writing, but part of my brain was listening to Emily and Morgan prepare our tea party.

"I like peach tea, but Mawmaw can't drink it," Morgan said.

"Why can't she?" asked Emily.

"It has sugar in it. I don't want her to be sick," Morgan told her auntie.

"We can make two pots of tea," Emily assured her.

I'm smiling now, remembering Morgan's delight in filling two teapots. It was a having-her-cake-and-eating-it-too solution.  

This is the girl who races to surprise me and make my bed. The one who helps fold the clothes and wash the dishes. Melanie has taught her to joyfully serve others first.

It's rare to find unselfishness in a child so young. It makes me look at my own actions and determine to choose the unselfish path. 
The PJK definition of selfishness is: to be stingy with oneself. Cicero wrote, “Non nobis solum nati sumus." (We are not born for ourselves alone.) 

Paul told the Philippian church, Don’t be selfish...Don’t just think about your own affairs, but be interested in others (Philippians 2:3).

We can give unselfishly of our time, attention, money and even our energy. We can live the selfless life at home, church and places of business. Forgo the new purse and leave a larger tip at the restaurant. Lay down the book you're reading and really listen to your children or husband. Start an email or text pen pal with a preteen from your church. Bake cookies and deliver them to a sweet-tooth friend.

This is the secret to raising unselfish children. They see you giving of your time, resources, attention and energy and they learn to give also. Your choice to live unselfishly will be reflected in your child's character.

There's no end to the ways we can give unselfishly. Of course, at times there are limits to selflessness. In tic-tac-toe, Morgan's X always goes in the center.  I've never won a game with her yet.



Trisha's Treasures said...


Loved your "selflessness" blog. I can say from experience I learned early in life how to be a giver, not only from my dear mother and father, but also my grandmother and grandfather. They were truly role models of unselfish living. We are trying to "model" the same for our little Alyson! "God loves a cheerful giver." Appreciate so very much your Christian example of "giving while you're living."

Rebecca said...

Sweet truth, Pamela!

Terra said...

I enjoyed your words on selfishness and selflessness. How sweet of her to think of making 2 teas, so you can enjoy it too.

Denise said...

Such a sweet post.

Mindy said...

Heehee!! Tic Tac Toe. =D What a sweetie.


Three cheers for Melanie and all mom's who model the unselfish life. It is a very good life.


Lisa notes... said...

Morgan sounds like such a sweetie. It's joy to all of us to hear of selflessness.

Love the PJK definition of it: to be stingy with oneself. Makes selfishness sound as ugly as it is.

Ceil said...

Hi Pam! What a special little lady you have there! And she is a model for all of us to be less thoughtful of ourselves, and to think more of others.

And they will be led by a child...so true!
Hope you had a wonderful tea party :)

WordsPoeticallyWorth said...

It's nice to think of others as sisters and brothers!

Thank you. Love love, Andrew. Bye.

Sharon said...

Such a good message. Being unselfish doesn't come naturally most of the time. But, with proper training, and the work of the Holy Spirit, we can indeed reflect the character of our Lord.

How precious to see a giving and serving heart in a child. It's a good reminder of why Jesus told us to remain childlike.


(LOL at the tic-tac-toe! Keeping it real, Pamela!)

Jerry E Beuterbaugh said...

"A Sheltering Tree" has been included in the A Sunday Drive for this week. Be assured that I hope this helps to point even more new visitors in your direction.


Petra said...

Children learn from us and we from our children. To live selflessly is to live as Christ. Thank you for the reminder!