vanity and humility

If anyone knows anything about Jesus, it is that He doesn’t like vanity but rather praises humility.  He Himself was very humble, even humble enough to take on the role of infant, being totally helpless and dependent on others for everything.  So, if we truly want to follow Him, why is it so hard to be humble ourselves?  It would seem to be a no-brainer.

Reality though is something totally different.  It is a battle almost as big as the battle that David fought against the Philistine.  No one thought he could beat him, but with cunning and skill, he did.  So, who is our opponent in this battle?  Vanity is the enemy.  So much  of the world around us compels us to act a certain way, to do our hair a certain way, even something as simple as showing love to others around us.  But, as Scripture says:  “All things are vanity!”

One case in point — teenagers!  Teenagers want to appear independent and like someone who has their act together.  But, even teens get scared and need hugged and reassured.  But, vanity in the way they think they are supposed to act, stops them from actively seeking out that which would make them feel better — a hug and affirmation from Mom or Dad.

So, as a mom, I have had to learn to be aware of the clues of those around me.  Sometimes a quiet ride home from practice might be just a chance for comfortable companionship.  Other times though, it is a smoke screen and the silence is not comfortable but with an edge to it.  This is not an easy skill and one that I am not fully proficient with yet.  But, I can claim bursts of awareness every now and then.  And pray for these occurrences of insight and awareness to be more often rather than less often.  But, to do it, _I_ need to first put away my own vanity and clothe myself in the humility of God so that I can be aware.  And that is the thorn among the roses.  To break through their cloak of vanity, I must first take my own off.  Ouch!  It sure can be painful without that shield protecting me from the pointed barbs that can be dished out.

But, humility and pain are okay if they help me gain their heart.

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