Studies of Humility: Ruth

Studies of Humility: Ruth

In case you didn’t know, I am not married, I don’t have a boyfriend, and I have never been on a date.  If you need relationship advice, don’t come to me.

My friends sometimes ask if I want a boyfriend.  While I wouldn’t be opposed to starting a relationship, I realize that singleness gives me the freedom to travel where I want, eat what I want, and study when I want.  Ruth, the heroine of the Bible’s best-known love story, had a different view of personal freedom, however.

If you are familiar with the story of Ruth, you know that Naomi gave Ruth every opportunity to “be free” after her husband (Naomi’s son) died.  Legally, Ruth could return to her homeland, and Naomi repeatedly persuaded, ” Ruth, go to your own family and your own people” (Ruth 1:8). Yet, Ruth remained with Naomi, saying, “Don’t urge me to leave you or turn back from following you; for where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge.  Your people will be my people, and your God, my God” (Ruth 1:16).

If Naomi had given me the opportunity to start over and make a new life for myself, I would have accepted the offer, but Ruth chose to stay with her mother-in-law.  You see, Ruth had made a commitment to Naomi’s family, and she had no intention of breaking that promise. 

A few weeks ago, we defined humility as “freedom from a false view of self.”  Undoubtedly, Ruth had found this freedom.  She did not see herself as too important to help her mother-in-law, or too young to be a widow, or too unrighteous to join the Hebrews.  Instead, she viewed herself as she really was: a daughter-in-law who had  accepted Naomi’s family as her own family.

Ruth did not define freedom as independence.  For Ruth, freedom was the opportunity to  keep her promises. 

Thus, our third task in the pursuit of humility is to keep our commitments, even when we think there is a better option. 

Let me know in the comments:

  • Do/Did you enjoy being single?
  • Is it hard for you to keep commitments?

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