A couple of weeks ago I re-posted an article about humility and housework. After I posted it, I received a comment that started me thinking that perhaps in my attempt to be specific regarding examples from my own life, I may have inadvertently placed a stumbling block to those who would read it. I decided to delete it until I had time to “fix” it. So, I have re-posted this for the third time with an addendum to clarify for the benefit of others who are reading (follow the floating asterisk).
“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)
*These examples are ways that pride is manifested in my own life. They would not be examples of pride in everyone’s life. Indeed, for some, taking a nap would be more of an expression of humility – sometimes rest is needed more than housework. For some setting aside a to-do list, a need to get it all done and enjoy an outing with the kids is the greater expression of humility. That just isn’t typically my personal pattern. To be honest the more I live life, the more I realize that for every look at myself and the way pride is manifested; I need to take ten looks to my Savior and His perfect expression of humility in obeying His Father’s will even to the point of death on a cross. What a Savior!