Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves. – Philippians 2:3 NIV

photo credit: HeyThereSpaceman. via photopin cc


The other day I was at the grocery store when I could hear a young child, a few aisles over, having a pretty serious tantrum.  The sounds of desperate cries and screams reminded me of the days when my kids were toddlers and they had meltdowns when they were tired, hungry, or wanting.


When I reached the end of the aisle, the mother of the tantrum thrower passed by chanting numbly, “I love my children, I love my children.”, barely audible over the child’s hysterics.


I wondered as she walked by, if God responds the same way with us.


See, our grown-up tantrums really aren’t all that different from those of our younger years.  We’ve just found more creative and “civilized” ways of expressing them, but the backbone of WHY we have them hasn’t changed much.


We still pitch fits when we have to wait beyond our patience, or start tasks we don’t want to start, or travel to places we don’t want to go.


Most days I’m willing to yield to the plans and demands placed on me, but sometimes my self-centered nature rises up, and I become defensive about my time, my choices, and…my obedience.


I buck and whine when my carefully secured blinders are yanked off, and I’m forced to look beyond myself.


Why do I prefer my tunnel vision over the open view?




I’m afraid I won’t have time to do what I want.  I’ll be known forever as the one who just cooks, or cleans, or drives.  Life will pass by, and I’ll be stuck in the land of insignificance.


When do I get to make my mark, be in the limelight, have my 15 minutes of fame?  When will I get to quench the restlessness that pounds at my soul everyday?


And right about then, when I’m stomping my feet and clenching my fists, the Lord whispers one word…




Humility isn’t about being a doormat, or a pushover.  Humility is about living in such a way, where pride or arrogance have no place.


It’s pride that insists my desires are more important than others.


It’s pride that makes me quick to pout and complain when I’m not getting my way.


It’s pride that makes me fearful that what I want to accomplish, will never come to pass.


God tells us if we would humble ourselves before him, he will lift us up. (James 4:10)


So, before an outburst of epic, three-year-old proportions ensues, may we face our Lord in humility and lay at his feet the course of each day.  When we do, he promises to lift us up – to strengthen us, to give us the right disposition for the tasks before us, and to make possible the completion of our own plans.


Proverbs 15:33 tells us, “Humility comes before honor.” We cannot know “greatness” in our arenas, if we are not first clothed in humility.  Honor will come, but not on the heels of pride.


I am grateful for a loving God who demonstrated pure humility at the demands of the Cross.  Taking on all without complaint or defense.  My goal is to dress myself with humility each morning, so I may face the day in the shadow of his honor.  Won’t you join me?


Where have tantrums left you these days?  Have you experienced honor in living humbly?  Drop me a line, I’d love to hear from you.

7 Replies

  1. Helene

    Ahhhh tantrums… Ick and I think of them only as a toddler syndrome! Haha. With my daughters wedding THIS coming Friday, and all the family dynamics, adult tantrums are right at the surface. This post, clothing myself in humility,…. Continuously and ditching the various levels of pride is a perfect reminder for me. Thank you!

  2. Meredith

    Raye, Thank you for these beautiful words on such an ugly subject. I struggle with pride daily (probably more like hourly if we’re being completely honest!). I needed this reminder today and the Lord definitely used this post and the comments of others to speak to me.

    1. This is exactly why we do what we do here! Thank you for your great words and honesty Meredith; may we conquer pride together!

  3. Holly

    I so needed to hear this today and would not have had the opportunity if my morning had gone along with my plans… The change in plans irritated me and I had to do some rescheduling to accommodate others. But had that not happened, I would have missed this post. Thank you for the reminder!

  4. Shirl

    Raye, I really enjoyed reading this today… I’ve been moving for the past two weeks and I’ve had many moments of despair with the overwhelming task of getting everything out of one house, into another, with very limited resources to do it… there have been moments where I just cried and fell into a self pity that would only leave me feeling worse… I know that self pity only blinds me from seeing that our Father is right there in front of me just waiting for me to ask for His help…. but in moments of weakness, followed by my tantrums or grief, I forget… thanks for the reminder!

    1. It’s so challenging to keep our tantrums in check when we feel the pressures of life. I pray God will strengthen you while you are undertaking such a big transition. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts Shirl.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.