Marilyn’s Big But

Marilyn's Big ButOn the highest throne in the world, we still sit only on our own bottom.” – Michel de Montaigne

Marilyn was an outgoing old woman with an incredibly big but she liked to parade. She’d come to Sunday School and with her disarming smile offer, “I’m not a very smart woman, but …”. She didn’t realize that I was wise to her.

The woman was actually boasting. She was proud of her intelligence. She wanted everyone to know how smart she was, and I suspect she believed herself to be the smartest one in the room. She  put herself down, only to reveal her false humility with her giant “but.”

Arrogance is thinking more highly of oneself than one ought to think; it is the comparison of self to others. The promotion of self is viewed in our culture as a virtue, while true humility is seen as a vulnerability or weakness. Our sinful nature desires to be recognized by others, to be elevated in the minds and standing of our peers and even ourselves. However, God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble (James 4:6).

The humble rely only upon the grace of God. Their self-esteem comes from an identity founded in Him. Thier boasting is in the sufferings of Christ.

God forbid that I should glory except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, but whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world (Galatians 6:14).


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