Jesus Loves You But I’m His Favorite

TheDiscipleMD

The other day I was driving behind a typical van with a sticker on the back that showed the owners “pride” in having an honor roll child in their home.  Following the sticker was the now popular add-on sticker of “again”, meaning, “more than once”.  This particular van must have been driven by someone with a lot of kids, because the again stickers stretched to ‘infinity and beyond”. It might have been a “one” child genius van or just a typical 6 kid smart van which would account for all the stickers.  I don’t know for sure. Maybe I’m jealous! At my age I can’t remember if any of my five kids made the honor roll, and if they did, I know it was not to “infinity and beyond”.   I have also seen a number of bumper sticker on cars that are responding to the “honor roll” proclamation.  They say things like, “My kid beat up your honor student”. Or “My dog is smarter than your honor student”. Still another is more personal that says, “Your kid’s an honor student and you’re a moron”.  There are plenty of others that are not appropriate to print and still others that make a joke of it by saying something like, “Proud parent of a dinner roll student”. Now just so no one takes offence, I am semi-joking about this bumper sticker but there is a larger point.  For some reason this bumper sticker bothers some people. I think that it inadvertently brings out envy and jealousy from those who see it.  While the intent of the parent is to show pride in and to their child, others on the outside don’t like a public display of it.  Somehow they believe it takes away from them, or perhaps they were brought up thinking that to “brag”, no matter how innocently, is not something you do.

The above paragraph speaks of  a tiny, and somewhat innocent example of something that has, for most of us, crept into our daily lives. It’s pride and envy. Growing up I recall being taught to be a good sport when I won at any game. Be gracious when you win and have dignity when you lose. Somehow over the course of my lifetime the character traits of humility and dignity has been lost.  Gone are the days when after a major league baseball player hit a home run he would quickly run around the bases, usually with head down and go quietly into the dugout to receive the congratulations of his teammates. Today’s major leaguers often stand at the plate and watch their “blast of beauty” clear the wall before they round first base.  They seem to revel in the adoration of the fans and have no shame in accepting it. After all, they are great!  I can hardly watch a football game, be it high school, college, or pro where a simple tackle by a lineman doesn’t result in some sort of celebratory dance. Receivers got so out of hand in their demonstrations after a touchdown that the NFL had to ban it.  Who would even have thought of doing such a thing fifty years ago. You scored and went to the sidelines to celebrate with your teammates. I’ve never seen such puffed up pride as what I witness in the  pro athletes of our day, no matter what sport.  Athletics is often a mirror of the state of our culture and our society is increasingly becoming a culture of pride. And that pride is growing by leaps and bounds!

Because of mass communication, every thing we do can be seen or heard by others. There is nothing wrong with being proud of what is happening within our families but sometimes we need to take into account that our joys are best shared in a private manner lest we contribute to promoting “envy” from others.  Someone might say, “Well, that is their problem, not mine”, and I might agree. However, it would be wise on our part to make sure that when we share our successes we do so with the best of intentions. Pride and envy are tough birds to tame. I think if all of us examine our lives we would probably find both are well rooted in our homes.

While having good self-worth is wonderful, let us be careful that in our quest to give esteem to our family members, that we guard ourselves against pride.   I guess the problem can best be expressed in another bumper sticker I saw on a van driven by a man the other day.  It said, “Jesus loves you, but I’m his favorite!”… Man I hate that guy!

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