As I was reading my daily devotion, it reminded me of situations I had found myself in this past week, reminding me of similar situation in the recent past and lets not forget situations from youth that make me shake my head, some caused by me.
First let me thank Bayless Conley for his devotion titled True Satisfactions. It gave me pause to remember the root of self importance (www.christianity.com)
Coming from the south we are ingrained with being strong, having good character, being fair in all instances(tied into character) and being proud of who you are, where you are from and what your principals are. There have been many a marvelous movie to depict these thing depicting of the south, Gone with the Wind, for one. Very gentile, very strong and in some instances, self important. By the way, I was the one in my family who not only broke that mold of a gentile southern lady but disintegrated it from the top of whatever tree it was that day that I chose to climb. I now pay for those wild and crazy tomboy days every time I get up to walk.
I think as people across the world, we genuinely want to be the better side of character but sometime circumstances get the best of us and the wrong side shows up. This is where we need to remember what is really importance in that instance and react accordingly. For instance, in the grocery store the other day as I was trying to decide which can tomatoes I needed for my sauce for supper. Around the end of the isle came a running little boy, maybe 5 years old, that hit me and would have knocked me down had it not been for the buggy. It did however knock the little boy to the floor. As his mother came around end to try to control this out of control child, she yelled at me for knocking down her child. All I could say was “What?” She walked on with child in hand only for him to get away from her twice more that I saw, not sure if anyone else was fussed at for knocking down her son. But the point of this is when you take your strength of character and pride for who you are to the point of “I am more important than you”, then you have lost the true purpose of character.
Isaiah 14:12-15 tells us about Satan’s fall. Satan was full of self importance. He would boast of how he was going to be higher that God and more powerful, not realizing how God loved him and had bestowed on him beauty and wonder. But it was not enough, he wanted more. His pride and the greed it fosters is what took him down. And I think if we are not carful we could get on the wrong side of pride ourselves. Pride in itself does not have to be a bad thing but like with any over indulgence, it can become toxic.
We are all given fountains of love and wonderful gifts from above and if we follow the Gifter in how we use these gifts then we can make others feel His presence when they are low. Think about the beauty of a single flower as it stretches its height to the sky, swaying slightly in the breeze filling the air with the fragrance. It is short lived but while it was here its beauty and smell was refreshing and leaves a lasting remembrance.
May we always be more refreshing that self important.