Ladling spicy tortellini soup into shallow bowls, I handed each plate to my husband where he added a thick slice of wheat bread and placed the meal in front of a waiting child. Speaking above the din of our six children I outlined for him the indignities and frustrations of hosting both grandmas for Thanksgiving, “She criticizes everything I make! She brings nothing for the dinner and then doesn’t even help with the dishes!”
He spread a thick layer of butter on yet another slice of bread and suggested, “If you could be a little more humble this Thanksgiving, you’d be a lot more happy.”
The words stung, but I had an instant, almost spiritual confirmation that he was right. If I could be a little more humble, I’d be a lot more happy– not just on Thanksgiving, but every day.
Pride is my great grand barrier to sincere gratitude. Pride declares: I created this, I deserve this, don’t step on my toes, don’t assault my dignity. Not only does my prideful heart neglect to thank God for what he has given me, it covets even more. But humility (charity) “suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not…. seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil.” 1 Cor. 13:4-5
As I consider every situation that makes me unhappy it is my pride and the resulting lack of gratitude that drags me into misery. And as much as I need humility in dealing with all my fellow men, I especially need it with my family.
What is it about family ties that makes me so impatient, so critical? My friends’ human foibles are not only acceptable, but endearing. And yet those same frailties are like fingernails on the chalkboard at family gatherings.