I’ve Never Had That Problem!

Ed, my old neighbor from Saskatchewan, called last week when I was researching a question that sometimes plagues folks. I was looking for suitable answers for a discussion about dealing with someone who thinks they are better than you? My old neighbor had to inform me that he could not help me because he has never had that problem. If it ever would be a problem facing Ed, he would just ignore the person as one would an offensive smell, after a few days you don’t notice the odor anymore.

I was considering that if someone is better than we are in something, it may be a matter of talent or training and we need not be jealous. We could consider what we might learn from their abilities. The recent Olympics reminds us that even when athletes were competing in the same sport, and they are all talented, some proved better than others. We need to be respectful of the person who has performed better than we did. We humbly acknowledge the winner and celebrate their victory for talent is God given. For fame, we can be grateful, but it is fickle and fleeting. It is not wise to envy another’s fame for it may well change the person from better to big-headed.

If one were to win a gold medal as best in the world, it could be difficult not to be prideful even conceited about it. Truth be told, it does not take much to make us proud of ourselves. It is said that Conceit is self-given. It is also said that nature abhors a vacuum. When a head lacks brains nature fills it with conceit. If someone does think they are better than us, it could be true in many ways. Once we play the comparing game, no one wins unless we are comparing because we are concerned for the well-fare of others. If it is obvious others are homeless, needing food and clothes, and we are better off than them, we can share with them, so they have what they need.

Pride and conceit are often hidden in our thoughts and attitudes. They could be hidden even to our own awareness. We might not say to others that we are better than they are, but are stunned when we find they are honored or recognized above ourselves. We do compare ourselves to others but not necessarily, with a humble attitude. We look at others with our own self- interests lacking humility which counts others as more significant than ourselves. We are ambitious for ourselves and may only care about others if they would inter-fear with our plans.

Why would we Christians, dare not see ourselves as equal to or better than others? It goes against the humble example of Jesus. The Bible says, “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” Count others as more significant than yourself as Jesus did.

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