Looking Out for Number One?

Betty Friedan* suggests that a woman can only be fulfilled if she has a life plan for herself that includes education, a career, and work that is of serious import to society. Each woman needs to take control of her own life and develop a vision for her future.

I see this mindset pervading my life. When co-workers come to me with a question or a need, I am tempted—and often do—tell them it’s not my job, and they should ask so-and-so. Occasionally, I’ll let my boss know that a particular task is not my forte, and he will kindly remind me that not every single aspect of my job will fulfill me. 

Yes, I know Betty Friedan’s way well. Yet, I see a very different way in Scripture.

Jesus both taught and demonstrated that “If anyone wants to be first, he must be last, and the servant of all” (Mark 9:35).

Pastor Tim Keller** defines Christian humility not as thinking less of yourself, but of thinking of yourself less. It is self-forgetfulness.

I imagine Betty Friedan would respond that if we don’t look out for ourselves, who will?

But, my experience has shown C.S. Lewis*** to be right when he says, “Pride is spiritual cancer: it eats up the very possibility of love, or contentment, or even common sense.”

Whether you work in an office or at home, how do you see selfish ambition playing itself out in your life? How can you practically choose the way of the Cross today? 

(If you’re interested in this topic, check out Philippians 2 as well as Nancy’s detailed list of the proud heart vs. the broken heart.)  


*From Mary Kassian’s True Woman ’08 Message, “You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby!”
**From the chapter “Humility and Self-Image” in Gospel Christianty Course 3 by Tim Keller
***From the chapter “The Great Sin” in Mere Christianity

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About the Author

Paula Marsteller

Paula Marsteller

Paula Marsteller is a gifted communicator with a tenacious commitment to Scripture coupled with a compassionate, loving voice. She enjoys connecting with and welcoming people so they feel safe, valued, and deeply loved. People describe her as “wise,” “relatable,” and "fiercely gentle."

God has captured Paula’s heart, and she is passionate about sharing life-changing, gospel truths through the lens of her everyday, ordinary life as a wife, mom, neighbor, and church member. Paula is an insatiably curious, lifelong learner, so beware: she tends to ask a lot of questions of everyone near her (being careful not to overwhelm).
She served with Revive Our Hearts for fifteen years and wrote Confessions of a Boy-Crazy Girl: On Her Journey from Neediness to Freedom. You can catch her writing on PaulaWrites.com.

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