Nothing distresses me more than arrogance, the offensive display of superiority or self-importance. I pray that I shall never project this sort of attitude in my interaction with others. Certainly, I do not feel that way. The Bible is very clear in warning of the dangers of overweening pride. Jesus said that to look down on another individual and call that person a fool puts oneself in danger of hell fire. That is a stern warning indeed.
God gave me certain talents. They are modest ones, and I do not glory in them. He also gave me a healthy body, complete with all the normal limbs and appendages, for which I am thankful. I am an average looking person, and usually excite neither antipathy nor abnormal interest by my appearance. My mental capacity is also in the normal range. I have an unusual knack of remembering jokes (even ones I heard a half-century ago), and I have an above average ability to communicate my thoughts in writing, otherwise there is nothing special about me. I give God the credit for whatever talents and abilities I do have. I did nothing to earn or to deserve them.
I am keenly aware that I am seriously deficient in certain abilities when compared to many others I know. I do not have a great intellect, and I am inclined toward indolence. I have always read extensively, and I did well in academic studies, but I have known those whose brilliance outshone my own feeble intelligence much as the sun outshines the moon. Also, I was never a great athlete. I usually performed well enough in schoolyard play and sandlot games, but that was as far as I took it. Artistic accomplishments eluded me as well. I can sing a little, but there was nothing else. I cannot paint, play a musical instrument, or dance. To top it off, I am completely devoid of interest or skill in things mechanical and am bored to death by a discussion of economics or high finance.
I admire those who have abilities that I do not possess. I am awed by the mysteries of theoretical physics and quantum mechanics, and I admire those scientists who push the frontiers of knowledge. In a different way, I appreciate the work of carpenters, electricians and plumbers and envy their ability to do things beyond my capabilities. I am amazed by the performance of a skilled athlete. I glory in the beauty of a symphonic masterpiece and wish I had a thimble full of those artistic talents on display in a great orchestra.
On occasion I have encountered individuals who appear to think themselves superior to everyone else in their company. Do they really feel that way, or is it a mask to hide feelings of self-doubt? Perhaps it is a way to exercise control. Regardless of the motive, I find the attitude infuriating. Perhaps a person is physically attractive and has superior abilities. Perhaps he or she has worked hard to hone inborn talents. Still, there can be no reason to preen or boast. God gave that person his or her abilities. They should be thankful, and give God the glory.
At other times we encounter individuals who are less fortunate than we are in terms of gifts. Perhaps they are physically unattractive or somehow deficient in other mental or physical abilities. Good health might be lacking, and they may lead a lonely, difficult life. Considering their limitations, perhaps they are doing the very best they can with what they have. My heart goes out to these people. I want to reach out to them in some way that does not appear condescending. We are all God’s children, and we must do our best to show love for one another.
I pray that the Lord will teach me to love and respect others. I pray that He will show me how and when to properly display that love and how to be a positive influence on all those whom I encounter.