Lord, I thank you for your hand of justice and for the priceless gift of eternal life in Christ.

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A Little Think

The Firstborn Tendency

If you're a firstborn child, you likely came with a component part to prove you're right...at least that's how I account for my tendency! I'm a firstborn. Years ago, fondly reminiscing on my youth, I told my husband (a second child) that I remembered the house I grew up in being larger than ours. Oh no, he insisted, no way, our house was larger than my childhood home.

I let it go. I mean, I show some restraint choosing which hill to die on. But in my head, I knew I was right. That was that. That is the tendency of a firstborn. It can really get in the way and must be aggressively tamed. In fact, it barges in when you least expect it. This house thing is a mild example!

I sold the beautiful, sunny old lanonstone house when my dad died two years ago, after spending the better part of three months there, 300 miles from my own home. And you know what, I have to admit that my husband was more right than I was. The two homes are nearly the same size, but I have to give it to him -- ours is a bit larger.

How do you remember the size of your childhood home? Have you gone back to be surprised at what seemed so big but was actually not once you grew? When I walk in my yesterdays, the child in me remembers everything being big. Often those memories aren't accurate, except where God is concerned. As a child I learned to take my troubles to Him. Life wasn't perfect, but it was good. My parents lived by faith and not by sight, as the Bible urges believers to do. I memorized the old hymn "What a Friend we have in Jesus!" Knowing that God took a personal interest in me, that He provided my own guardian angel and that He had plans for me made a big impression. I tried a lot of stuff on my own, some of which failed and some of which succeeded. I took my "big plans" back to God for re-writes, edits, or forgiveness. I received a lot of no's but a lot of yes's, too.

I know God better now. I've grown in faith by His grace and through trusting Him for a lot of years. I must say, I realize now that God was the only thing from my childhood that turned out to be bigger than I remember. When I go back and reconsider my youth, through family stories I piece together and little diary notes and letters home that I rediscover, I can see His hand working in my life in ways I didn't realize at the time.

Unlike the size of our family home, I see that God was bigger then and he's bigger now! The sooner you trust and see it, the better! As it turns out, I don't need to pull my old "firstborn" card and prove anything about God or to Him. The truth is, He proves Himself, as is pointed out in 2 Chronicles 16:9a: "The eyes of the Lord run to and fro, throughout the whole earth, seeking to prove Himself powerful in the behalf of those whose hearts are perfect toward Him." When our "hearts are perfect toward Him," that means we are fully committed, sold out to Jesus Christ.

Do you take Jesus your troubles, or are you handling your ups and downs solo? Do you believe that He is big enough to handle your deeds, meet your needs, and offer the hand that feeds? Could you use an ear, a helping hand, a direction or two? What will it take to let you trust Him for the smallest or the largest thing you're facing right now? Look back for a second over the years. Even if you're not the firstborn in your family, do you dig in your heels, insisting you can do it your way, that you're right? If you've come to the end of yourself on that one, how about just laying it all out there for God to prove Himself powerful in your behalf? What do you have to lose? What God wants to prove is what it's like to be loved with a love that doesn't change its mind, sees you for what you are and what you could be, stays with you through thick and thin, and every single second of every single day woos and proves His faithfulness. Let it go, girl! Let Him prove it! At the very least, have a little think about it!

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