a blog about the book, "Smart Girl, Stupid World" by Sarah Siegand

“Staying Humble” (Excerpt from Ch. 10) February 17, 2011

Filed under: Final Chapter: Smarter, Wiser (Excerpt) — Sarah Siegand @ 2:18 am

The more you learn about God’s ways of wisdom, the more momentum your life will gain. You will find relationships are more fruitful, and you will experience the blessing of promotion and success as your “smart girl” skills develop.


Let me give you one word of caution. Stay humble. Recognize that God is the source of whatever measure of wisdom you may walk in. You might see others making mistakes, and you will be tempted to view them through the eyes of judgment, as if you are superior to them for not making those same poor choices. Remember that pride always leads to your destruction. As much as I hope you make great choices and follow God’s truth to build a life of wisdom, I also hope you will see struggling women around you with the compassion of Christ. They may not know the hope of the gospel—share it with them. They may not see themselves as valuable, making them unable to recognize their unhealthy habits in reaching for significance. Speak value to those women. Ask God to help you see and love others the way he sees and loves them.


When I was a teenager I had so much pride in my own virginity that I couldn’t see people accurately who had already had sex. I didn’t see the hurts they carried from the failed attempts to feel loved or satisfy their desires. I had so much pride, that I wasn’t vigilant enough in guarding my own heart and mind from temptation when the time came. I thought I was indestructible. My own virgin pride caused me to be blind to the reality that I was just as vulnerable to sin as other people, and I could be easily swayed when I allowed myself to get too emotionally attached in relationships. I was shocked at my own lustful desires!


When I mentor young ladies, there are often lots of skeletons that need to come out of the closet right up front. The mistakes of their pasts are met with the utmost of grace and mercy as we begin our relationship. And as they are finding their way to a new place of spiritual growth, there are always pitfalls and setbacks that need to be talked through and processed. Again, there is much grace. This young woman is still learning how to walk the narrow road.


This might be a gross analogy to you, but it’s kind of like potty training a child. At first, you are giving lots of instruction, lots of encouragement, and you are happy just to have her realize that she just pooped in her pants. The next phase is helping her realize how nice it is to have dry, clean underwear. She’s rewarded for staying dry. And finally, the rewards from mommy go away as she learns to take care of her own bodily functions… the reward is now just being a member of the big-girl-club and being able to listen to her own body.  But what do you do when your child refuses to poop on the potty and says things like “You can’t make me!” The attitude has to be disciplined. If they refuse to learn how to poop on the potty and they turn four, then five, then six… well, that’s just wrong. The grace you gave them at the beginning when they were learning the ropes is gone. Now they are dealing with your very tough love to teach them the right thing, and trust me, after six years of diapers you would be one desperate woman to get them to learn that lesson!


When you are walking life out with others, you may see them make mistakes that frustrate you. At first, you are called to gently help them learn and grow to the next phase of their development. If they continue to flounder, your approach may need to grow more direct. If after a prolonged season someone you know refuses to grow or receive truth, you need to pray about whether your relationship with her is fruitful. I’m not saying you cut her off, but you need to know what God thinks about it, and seek counsel from others who can help you see his perspective objectively. It’s possible that you don’t have a place to speak into her life anymore, and you may need to pull back and just pray.


Walking in humility toward others means you see yourself as vulnerable to sin the same way they are. It does not mean never taking a stand against sin. There are friendships in my life that are now at a distance because clearly that person does not want to live their life God’s way, and they aren’t interested in whatever encouragement I may have to offer otherwise. I’m not going to chase them down with the truth, but I’m not going to look down on them either. My responsibility before the Lord is to pray for them and to have healthy boundaries in place to keep myself and my family from being negatively affected by their sinful choices. And I remind myself that if it weren’t for the grace of God, I would probably be in their same shoes and much worse. It helps me to see them accurately, and it motivates me to pray for them. One of the greatest joys I could possibly have was seeing someone who I thought was long gone yield herself fully to Christ and find forgiveness and healing for the things she had done. “Lord, help me to be patient with others as they grow, just like you are patient with me.”