“May you come to know Jesus’ love – although it can never be fully known – and so be completely filled with the very nature of God.” Ephesians 3:19 (Good News Translation adapted)
My dad was a quiet, humble man, the eldest son of stoic Scottish immigrants. He didn’t talk a lot, so when he did, I listened. I remember him warning me, “don’t get too full of yourself.” Those warnings usually came after I’d achieved something, like a good report card. I received it as advice to not be conceited and a warning to continue to be diligent and not take good grades for granted.
I’ve been thinking about “being full of yourself” so I did a bit of research. The English idiom originated in the 17th century. According to the Cambridge Dictionary it means: “conceited, self-centered, thinking that you are very important in a way that annoys other people.” Ted Turner, founder of CNN and with a personal net worth of 2.3 billion US dollars once quipped, “If I only had a little humility, I would be perfect.” That fits the bill.
My dad’s advice was sound but lacked a suggestion about how to be “less full of myself.” I heard an interview a few years ago with Fr. Richard Rohr. He acknowledged his capacity for arrogance, and so prayed each day for a humiliation. That’s one way to take you down a notch or two, to keep from getting too big for your britches, another of my dad’s favorites. The flaw is that it is still focused on oneself.
C.S Lewis wrote, “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it is thinking of yourself less.” The best way I’ve discovered to do that is to think more about God and others. That’s how Jesus, the one in whom the fullness of God dwelt, modeled.
Do everything for the glory of God ~ Anne