>Tough In Any Language


My ten-year-old daughter loves to learn new things, especially when it’s about cultures and languages. Her class in school was learning about Pakistan recently and she was excited to learn some new words in Urdu, the national language of that country. Her assignment was to learn one new word. Because she is a stereotypical firstborn, type A, bright and curious girl, though, she was working through an entire stack of index cards with an Urdu word on one side and its English equivalent on the other.

At one point, she asked if I wanted to know which word in the stack was the toughest to say. Of course I wanted to know, so she told me it was the Urdu word for “please.” (Don’t ask me to spell it, let alone pronounce it.) It was tough indeed. Seizing a teachable moment, I admitted to her that “please” can be just as difficult to say in any language – even English.

Think about it. When was the last time you enjoyed asking for help? Not just asking for help, but enjoying it. Looking forward to it. Glad about it. I thought so. It’s tough in any language. Even if we’re not a stereotypical firstborn, type A, bright and curious person; asking someone for help – saying please – takes intentional effort. And the more we practice it, the better (and easier) it becomes. A little regularly applied humility seems to keep the rust off of the human heart.

The Bible, as usual, helps us see this wisdom. In Ecclesiastes 4:10 we find, “If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.” (NLT) That’s important to know because people fall all the time. If you think about, people fall alone all the time – even when other people are around. No humility = falling alone = real trouble. I’d mention what Proverbs 3:34 says about grace finding the humble, but you probably already know that. Gracious people are the ones who know they need grace. So keep the humility regularly applied. Learn to say please. And later if you have time, and a lot of index cards, maybe you can learn Urdu too.


About Larry Lakey

Jesus follower, husband, father, pastor, preacher, leader, bass player, recovering legalist.

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