I Chronicles 29:11 "Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty:for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all."

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Deep Thought Thursday: The Martyr Complex

I was having a busy day. We did school, I cleaned, cooked, chatted with the neighbor, emailed, prepared my lesson for teaching the kids at church, went grocery shopping, made dinner, and watched a movie with my family (having made popcorn at their request which I ate none of). [Not to mention I had already that week cooked meals for three different dinners including company. I was tired.] It was getting late and everyone was supposed to be changing for bed.

I, of course, was in the kitchen cleaning. The living room was a bit messy from the popcorn, and I asked the Prince to please run the vacuum. I was hoping to not be in the kitchen, alone, for the rest of the night.

He was sitting on the kitchen counter, two feet from my work space, chatting with Sleeping Beauty. I have no idea what they were talking about, but neither of them were doing what I asked. I kept working, slowly allowing a flame of resentment to ignite within myself. When they were done talking, and Sleeping Beauty finally went to change into pajamas, the Prince was smiling and ready to move on to checking his email, etc.

Me? I huffed and I puffed and I slammed around the house doing the jobs I had asked other people to do. How could he be so happy when I was CLEARLY unhappy?!? And how could he forget in a matter of nanoseconds that I asked for his help?

Was that a right attitude? No. But I am a master at being a martyr. Of making sure everyone knows I am working hard for their sakes and even doing the work I asked them to do! And that I am not happy about it. And even though I am not happy, I will not accept their offered help when they realize they have slacked. After all, the point of being a martyr is to instill guilt in others, am I right?

Has that ever happened to you?

Well, I have been convicted of it, and will NOT do it again. In the midst of my stomping around the Lord spoke clearly to me and said:

"What are you hoping to accomplish with this behavior? Are you really serving them with this attitude? Are you really serving ME? Is this how you earn the love and respect of your family? Remember how you were going to work on being a servant that has no rights to speak of? Are you so easily deterred?"

I was majorly convicted. I was majorly embarrassed, and I have changed. I will be claiming the following verses, and trying my best to live them, no matter the circumstances:

Colossians 3:23, 24 "And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as unto the Lord, and not unto men; (24) Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ."

When I read these verses, I am reminded that I serve Christ. That I clean my house, and serve my family for HIM. When I have a bad attitude and fall into the martyr act, I am rebelling against His plan for me as a Help Meet and Mother. When my family fails to do as I have asked, that is an opportunity for me to serve the Lord by serving them.

And it has truly helped change my perspective. I have by no means "arrived" in this area, but I would say I have gotten a victory. And I am so thankful. Praise be to God!


  • Brenda

    Oh it's so easy to fall into! That stomping around, sighing, making a mental list of everything you have done that day....I've been there. And it's exhausting. There is so much freedom in serving with a happy attitude!

    Very good reminder.

  • WendyMom

    Brenda is right- it is more exhausting to expend the energy on making sure everyone else knows how mad you are- than it would be to just do those things with a servant's heart.

    Thank you for the reminder- so aptly said and so hard to do. When I am at my most tired, hormonal, or just plain being selfish, these thoughts tend to rear their ugly heads. I too have claimed that verse and gained victory- but I also know I will continue to fight against this attitude and behavior.

    Thanks for your transparency and honesty- I love you girl!

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