Last week I made a quick trip to my hair salon. It was mid-morning and the small room was filled by the owner of the salon, a few stylists, and a three or four moms escaping for a cut or color while the kiddos were at school. The salon is small and conversations drift quite easily, so my curiosity piqued when I heard a not so happy tone and unpleasant remarks regarding "mommy bloggers." I enjoyed the perspective I had; listening non-conspicuously forced more objectiveness than if I had been an active participant. Many valid points were made, ones I made myself only a few weeks ago. I especially enjoyed one woman's mention of the contrast of many bloggers' perfect houses while she had a sign that read, "Excuse the mess, we live here!"
Despite the uncanny observations of how we can all allude to a better version of ourselves when writing online with pictures of only the clean room of the house and not the clutter that was moved to the corner in order to take the picturesque photograph, I knew I was listening to a mom who owned her own business and was balancing work, children, and everything else in life. Her messy house was okay in light of the work she did outside of the home and the bountiful hours she spent at the park playing with her children, not cleaning her house or sitting in front of the computer blogging about her perfect house (her comparison not mine). In all honesty, we all have to be careful that the animate objects in our lives, whether it be friends, children or husbands, take priority over the world wide web. We all know how easy it is to lose an hour in front of a screen before we know it. Perhaps a different perspective from the woman commenting on the misplaced priorities of the bloggers is that a mommy blogger just cleaned the house after the children had an amazing time with finger paint and magic markers, happened upon a great cleaning tip and thought it worth sharing.
Either perspective or reality has one truth - we all love the spotlight. Whether it is the working mom who wants to be recognized for her ability to create stylish hair cuts while also being an awesome mommy to her kiddos or the mommy blogger who is organizationally creative or a master in the kitchen and wants to share her amazing home and ideas with others, we all like the approval and attention from others. Both talents have their merits, and God gave these talents to us to use and to share. However, we must be mindful of ourselves and always evaluate our true motives.
The Greek word used for selfish ambition in Phillipians 2 "is sometimes rendered 'strife' because it refers to factionalism [and] rivalry."* How true it is that our selfishness so often creates strife. When we abandon the need for our own spotlight, we are better able to shine it on others and look to their interests. Esteeming them instead of ourselves is a picture of true humility; a quality that speaks for itself.
*The MacArthur Bible Commentary, John MacArthur, pg. 1715