Friday, June 3, 2011

Humbly Ignorant

Do you know anyone that you would describe as humble?  What it is about them that makes you use this description?  To me, someone who is humble is fully aware of their talents or gifts, but draws no attention to them or expects any special treatment because of them.  Humility is choosing to put others before yourself because it is the right thing to do.  If someone is unaware of their talents or gifts, I do not think you can call that humility.  To be humble is to be modest about your strengths and respectfully assign more importance to others.  Humility is a choice you make.  Humility is an action verb (though perhaps quite passive). 
It is becoming harder and harder to find truly humble characters in youth fiction.  What I do see are characters who are unable to see their own strengths and as such, only use them when they are forced.  Katniss is no exception to this trend.  She is unaware of her appeal.  She realizes her strengths as a hunter but not as a leader.  Frequently, Katniss will think that someone is making fun of her instead of realizing they are complimenting her.  Haymitch is one character that seems to be aware of his strengths without flaunting them; however, he hides from the world in alcohol. 
The Bible calls us to know our strengths and the talents that God has given us.  We are to use them humbly.  Wisdom goes quite nicely with humility.  You can have a great deal of knowledge and acquire the discernment to use it wisely; but if you are not humble in how you interact with others you will soon find that wisdom is very lonely.

·         If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, do not consider yourself to be superior to those other branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you. You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.” Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but tremble.                                     Romans 11:17-20
·         In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
 6 Who, being in very nature God,
   did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, he made himself nothing
   by taking the very nature of a servant,
   being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
   he humbled himself
   by becoming obedient to death—
      even death on a cross!                               Philippians 2:5-8
·         He was not far from the house when the centurion sent friends to say to him: “Lord, don’t trouble yourself, for I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. 7 That is why I did not even consider myself worthy to come to you. But say the word, and my servant will be healed. 8 For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”
 9 When Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following him, he said, “I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel.” 10 Then the men who had been sent returned to the house and found the servant well.                                                            Luke 7:6-10

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Mae Culpa

I had a plan for what to write about today.  I really did.  But a friend came up to me this last week and joked that my blog posts were convicting enough to make her feel like she was failing; she needs to delegate chores, learn something new for herself, and make time to go out with her husband.  I have had opportunity to get to know this family over the past two years and this mom is doing a wonderful job!  Her kids are polite, very knowledgeable, and get along well with others.  This mom is hospitable and always seems to have an uncluttered home.  (Bet she is blushing a bit right now, but it is true.)  I vacillated between feeling bad that I could make such a woman feel inadequate and laughing that once I again I had “labeled” someone as one of those women who have it all together just to find out that is not how they see themselves.

Then I had the idea to post some pictures of my messy house but it was my hubby’s birthday this weekend and the house is pretty clean because we had guests.   I wouldn’t want to give you the wrong idea with pictures of my uncluttered home.  Usually my home is a mess!  I fail on a daily basis; frequently by the hour, and sometimes by the minute.  I can’t sit here and type to you all the answers on raising our daughters to be wise enough because I am still going through this struggle with you. 

My oldest daughter informed me that I needed to make more mistakes.  She mumbled through her tears that I was always right and she was too frustrated with me to listen.  I could have taken this in a most exalted of fashions.  Ha ha, you admit I am smarter than you so you remember this next time I tell you to do something you don’t want to do!  Instead my first thought (thank you, Lord) was to feel shame.  I mess up all the time.  I get it wrong.  I lose my temper.  I don’t want to get down on my knees and play imaginary games with action figures.  I hide in my computer screen instead of reading out loud to my kids.  I miss opportunities to pray. 

I felt ashamed that I was so good at explaining my sins away.  I felt bad that I was so fallen yet so revered by my most astute child.  I get away with it.  I have managed to hide many of my sins from my children.  That isn’t necessarily a good thing.  I don’t want them to think that my fallen behavior is normal or something to aspire to.  I want my daughters to forgive my mistakes but to try to rise above them in such a way that they are better mothers than I have been. 

I don’t think I am a bad mom.  I hope I get it right often enough to be a really good mom, but I am not perfect.  I don’t glow in the dark.  I can’t walk on water.  I want my daughters to see these imperfections and love me in spite of them.  I want my daughters to experience giving unconditional love. 

We all wear masks in our daily life.  The masks change depending on the people we are with, but they are there.  Our masks are the lies we tell ourselves and the assumptions we want others to make about us.  God sees through all this to the heart.  You will fail…it is unavoidable.  But we have a perfect Christ who forgives our failures.  We don’t have to walk on water because he already did it for us.  We have to trust in him and do our best to learn from our mistakes and pick ourselves up when we fail.  So that is my post for today, mistakes and all.