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Wise Words About Humility*

“Humility in Scripture does not mean pretending to be worthless and refusing positions of responsibility, but knowing and keeping the place God has appointed for one. Being humble is a matter of accepting God’s arrangement, whether it means the high exposure of leadership, or the obscurity of being a servant.” –The Reformation Study Bible pg. 1519 in “The Humble Obedience of Christ”

I know that the place God has called me to is my home. It is indeed primarily a role of obscure servant-hood. I don’t think I ever connected my obedience to God through His calling me as a helper to my husband, a lover of my children, and a worker in my home as an expression of humility. Conversely, I have never associated my lack of keeping the place God has called me to a source of pride. Laziness…yes. Selfishness…yes. But pride?

One manifestation of pride is me seeking to elevate my will above God’s will. This happens primarily in the so-called minutia of life. It is expressed in things like napping when I have laundry to do. It’s in wasting money on fast food when my husband told me we need to stick to the budget. It’s in threatening and repeating myself to my kids rather than lovingly bringing biblical correction. It’s in skipping Math today because I would rather go to Target.

What is the solution to my pitiful pride? How do I joyfully get on the path of humility right here and now in the minutia of life? I confess my pride, seek forgiveness for my sin and then fix my gaze to the ultimate example of humility: Jesus.

“In His humiliation, He left behind the eternal glory that was His, taking on a perfect and complete human nature: body, soul, spirit. Through His incarnation He lived a life of poverty and suffering. He was rejected by His nation, finally to die the shameful death of a common criminal.” –RSB pg. 1519 “The Humble Obedience of Christ”

Jesus humbled Himself to become a man, live a perfect life – completely conformed to the will of the Father, and then die on a cross suffering the wrath that my sins deserve. And now, because of His humility, I can have grace to conform to the will of the Father as well. Even now, when I get up from the computer and commence the day’s activities, I want to keep the Savior’s example before me.

It’s time to make the beds!

*originally posted  November, 2005

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7 thoughts on “Wise Words About Humility*

  1. Thanks for making the connections, Laurie! Your ability to connect the gospel to our everyday lives is so incredibly helpful. It’s precisely what Mike Bullmore was talking about. Thanks for applying so quickly and skillfully the things we were taught at the conference. I’m going to copy that quote from the Reformation Study Bible and keep it on my kitchen counter today so that I can chew on it again and again.

  2. Humility is a topic of conversation this week at our house, too, since we’re reading CJ’s new book. Thanks for your application of this to homemaking. I know all too well those desires to trade Math for Target, to threaten rather than discipline, to do ANYTHING rather than laundry. I thought my problem was laziness and lack of self-discipline, rather than pride. I will definitely be chewing on this one today. Thank you for the encouragement and turning my eyes to Christ!

  3. We are reading C.J.’s book as well. It’s funny how everything I seem to be reading now points to humility. It wouldn’t be an overstatement to say that this book on humility is profoundly changing my life. I hope to review the whole thing on the blog once I finish it.

  4. Paul just left on a business trip.When he was scooping up reading material, Sarah said, “You can’t take Humility. I’m reading it!” That’s quite an endorsement from a 16 year old. I never thought of pride as the root sin of varying times of poor home or time management. When I have a spotless house or a knockout meal on the table, I’m prone to pride, but when the opposite is true, I haven’t thought in terms of “I’d rather be doing thus-and-such” which is pride.
    . Hmm. Oh, yeh, I hope you’re only making one bed (your own).Otherwise, isn’t pride is overruling your call to train your kids to make their own (I say as I knowingly type with beds unmade upstairs!)? hhehe Here’s my quote for y’all: Pride–darned if ya do, darned if ya don’t!

  5. Funny you noticed I said “beds”. And it is true that I would rather take the fast track to orderliness rather than the path that requires patient humility as I train the boys, and discipline for complaining, etc. THanks for calling me on it, Zo!

    You bring an interesting point about the tidy house being a potential pride breeder. I think I was simply trying to show concrete ways I do not conform to God’s will for me in the home. It could very well be that if I am spending too much time cleaning, I could be neglecting more important things like communing with God, or spending time with my kids. Only we, with the help of the Holy Spirit, can know our own heart motives. I guess I am discovering just how much pride lurks in my life. How kind of God to show me so gently, and in light of the hope of the gospel!

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