Hey, Big Head!

Growing up, most aspects of life came pretty easily to me. I aced my classwork, starred in sports, made others laugh and—as a bonus—the girls didn’t think I was too ugly, either.

It was a recipe for disaster. Boy, did I get a big head. My head was so big it wouldn’t have fit into one of the giant caps outside of Angel stadium! I grew more and more cocky and arrogant.

Thankfully, many factors came together to cure me of my obnoxiousness. First, Algebra arrived and suddenly I didn’t know everything. Take that, smart guy! Then, I began to encounter athletes who were better than I was—far better! Next, I discovered that several of my classmates were naturally funnier than I was. Finally, teenage acne showed up and my face looked like a meat-lover’s pizza.

But the best remedy was slowly absorbing the word of God, especially the New Testament, especially the gospels. Here in the life of Jesus was the person I really wanted to be. His upside-down teachings on the first being last and the example of humility and servitude…well, they made a difference.

C.S. Lewis defined humility this way: it is not thinking less of yourself, it is thinking of yourself less. We are the beloved, adopted children of God—that is an exalted status! God values us and we should value ourselves. Remember that when you need a shot of self-esteem. But we are not to spend our time admiring ourselves in the mirror. We are to focus our gaze on the world around us, on others.

Doing this naturally results in us taking up the kingdom work Jesus began: working for justice, seeking reconciliation, caring for the least of these in society.

And all without tooting our own horn; or needing to purchase a larger hat.

Grace to you,
Pastor Paul

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2 Comments

Kate on July 26th, 2016 at 6:46pm

Great contemplative post, Pastor Paul, on humility.

BTW, does the church library have 'The Contemplative Pastor', by Eugene Peterson?

Thanks,
Kate

Donald E. Travis on July 9th, 2016 at 1:30pm

Speaking of when you and your buddies were younger men when ever we would encounter you at Reeds/Nethingtons, etc. we always said "hello" but you three just went thru the room without acknowledging. Yes, you have improved (smiles). Speaking of CS Lewis, have you seen the advertisements for an evening of someone playing him in local thea. I was wondering if I would be able to follow the conversation!