Below is a guest post written by my dear friend, Abby. I first met Abby years ago when she was a young teen looking for baby sitting jobs, and I was a young mother looking for a babysitter. Since then we have become fast friends who have weathered many a storm together.
I would encourage you to visit her blog site AGentleandQuietSpirit to read more of her wonderful insights. I have to say that when I asked her to write a guest post for my blog I didn’t think she would be taking shots at my pride:). One thing you should know, though. She preaches to herself, and does her best to practice it. And if I were writing for her blog, she would put all sorts of nice graphics in. But I am just not that savvy, so here it is in its no frills purity.
Have you ever had one of those moments of ‘clarity’? A moment when the dust of this life lifts for just an instant providing you a view of truth, the world, and yourself like you’ve never seen it before. A moment when all you’ve read and studied of the scriptures becomes so brilliantly clear. Often they aren’t very pleasant. Often they let you see yourself as you truly are – a sinner. That veil lifts. You catch a glimpse of your inescapable sin nature. I had one of these moments the other day centered on the idea of humility. Humility infuses the Word. The truth about Christianity, true Christianity, is it’s all about the loss of self. This isn’t a popular concept these days. Other ‘religions’ don’t promote humility, not on the soul level Christianity does. Many Christians don’t promote humility but self-help and self- actualizing. Many Christians have drunk the kool-aid. (Don’t believe me? Check out Joel Osteen’s new book.) This was my moment. I realized how invasive humility is in the Scriptures and far away we’ve moved from that truth. True Christianity leaves no room for self. None.
My greatest temptation in life is pride. I’m an overachieving, aggressive, exaggerating storyteller who was homeschooled in a conservative home. I come face to face with my own pride on a daily if not hourly basis. Pride is not something only us storytellers struggle with, but our American/Western culture as a whole. We are such a proud people. We are so proud we have made pride a positive character trait. We have religions, both Christian based and pagan, that worship pride, accomplishment, and self. It’s all about you.
The longer I trod this weary path, led by the Word of my Lord, the more I see pride’s vile poison. It makes me suspicious of others, drives me to assume everyone wants to outdo me, fears everyone has outdone me, makes me to want more stuff, seek compliments, steal the spotlight, and hate anyone who doesn’t’ see just how important I am. Sadly enough, most of this starts with my husband and my home. Pride feeds the flames of arguments and refuses to acknowledge wrong. Pride drives us apart.
The ‘wise older women’ of our culture teach the younger women that meekness and humility make you a doormat.
You know what?
You want see the ultimate doormat? Look to Christ.
He didn’t open his mouth even when His life was on the line. He didn’t defend Himself when he was falsely accused. I open my mouth when my desire for a new set of curtains or a movie is on the line. Really? Christ found submission to his Father more important than life itself. I don’t find it important enough to trust and obey for a movie.
Have you ever thought about the path Christianity takes you down? Every day, you become more aware of your sin. Vile, noxious, violent sin makes you who you are. It invades you and your world on a level inseparable from existence. Every day, you must go beg for grace. Every day, you must remember what that grace cost – the only truly innocent life. That was the price for grace. Do you want to walk this
path? It won’t be healthy as our culture defines health. It won’t be wealthy as our culture defines wealth. It won’t be happy as our culture defines happy.
True Christianity doesn’t grow cultural giants. It grows broken people forced to see that they are monsters. Suddenly the veil lifts. You see it. You see your pride for the black hole it is. By grace alone, you hate your pride. Christ died to take that away, in all humility and submission. How quick to mercy and forgiveness you become when you have tasted your own sin. How quick to be longsuffering. You know your worth. You know each breath is undeserved. So, wife, next time your husband asks you to do something that you don’t want to do, or you feel put upon, or worse, afraid, remember Christ’s great humility. He opened not his mouth to the point of death. He died for you. Your husband has nothing to do with this, only Christ. He died for you.
Don’t swallow the lies of this world. You aren’t worth it. You don’t deserve it. You deserve death and judgment. You are worthy of the wrath of a righteous God. A word of warning: the world will hate you if you do this. It will HATE you. It hates the idea of a wife shutting her mouth and in humility obeying her husband. It hates a husband actually leading (commanding) his wife and children. Christ obeyed his Father to the point of death. What is the world to us?
How many marriages would last if spouses looked not to pride, but to humility? How many more teens would be wise and mature if they looked to their parents with humility instead of pride? How much more loving would our churches be if we humbly served one another, mouths closed?
Do you know any religion that brings peace and harmony through humility? Christ does. He commands us to battle our flesh, battle our desires and passions. The world tells you to give into your desires, to be passionate. Christ commands us to control and guard our hearts. The world tells us you can’t chose who you love. The Bible says to live a quiet life of service. The world tells you to be amazing and don’t let anyone stop you. The world seems pleasant, appealing, and good. We should stand up for ourselves. We have rights. We’re Americans. We deserve it. But sinners, if you will be saved, beg for grace and submit yourself to the Word.
Be warned. If you follow this Warrior into the very pits of hell, it will be your heart He destroys. You will follow a Captain who won, not through might and battle, but by shutting His mouth and humbly obeying what His Father commanded. His obedience cost Him His life. He died. How can you expect to call yourself a Christian and not be called to the same fate? The world will not love you. It will think you are strange and possibly dangerous. It might try to take your children away from you. It will ridicule and mock you. It will call you weak. It will tell you you’re what’s wrong with the world today.
Close your mouth. Christ has broken your heart, and He will hold it, guard it, heal it, and bring you home. Quit trying to be accepted. Quit trying to make this world home.
Give up this world. Trust yourself to Christ. Why? Because He rose again.