By Robert F. Hull Jr.
(From our series “The Best or Worst Advice I’ve Ever Received.”)
“Don’t get above your raising,” is what they said to me. Yes, I realize country people have said this for so long that it has become a maxim, but that’s probably because it’s such good advice. As I was preparing to leave the hills of West Virginia for college, I must have heard it from several of my kinfolk, but I’ll attribute it to my mother. It comes in two other versions: “Don’t get too big for your britches,” and “Remember where you came from.”
These are reminders that education and social position don’t make me better than the person who bags my groceries. I didn’t go off and “become somebody”; I was already “somebody” in the eyes of God when I bagged groceries at my first job. “I, your Lord and teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet” (John 13:14).
Robert F. Hull Jr. is professor of New Testament, emeritus, Emmanuel Christian Seminary, Johnson City, Tennessee.