How Embarrassment Can Lead to Spiritual Growth

Under the hot flush of shame, I prayed for help in casting out the idol of pride.

Posted in , Jul 18, 2012

Daily Devotionals blogger Julia Attaway

One of my kids did something last week that fell into the “How could you?!?” category. I learned about it via email, before the child involved was awake. Mortified, I emailed the other mother back immediately, apologizing profusely.

Then, still writhing under the hot flush of shame, I remembered that where there’s humiliation, there’s usually pride.

I rummaged through my soul to figure out what was so mortifying about this kid-incident, and it didn’t take long to figure out: I want others to think I’m a good mother. My child’s actions made it look like I wasn’t. Sigh.

Reminder to self: All kids do dumb stuff, fail to think things through, and make poor decisions now and then. That’s normal. What my child did wasn’t good and wasn’t right—but it also wasn’t about me.

I prayed for help in casting out the idol of Being-a-Good-Mother. And some good things came of that. Once my pride was out of the way I could see that the embarrassing incident wasn’t a sign of failure, but a sign that provided information I needed about where my child needs guidance.

There was a side benefit, too. Because my initial emotional reaction didn’t govern how I approached the situation, I ended up handling it better—almost (dare I say it?) like a good mother.

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