The Deception of Superiority 

I recently read a quote online in which an individual stated, “I refuse to say please to someone beneath me.” Now, I could be wrong, but it’s doubtful this person is a doctor, CEO, or someone of seemingly great importance. More likely he is some average individual who is great in his own eyes. Regardless, his statement reveals how shallow he is.

Many strive to be great, some even see themselves as gods, but in the end each of us dies. In truth, there is no advantage being buried in a tomb over a casket or a casket over a plastic bag. However we are laid to rest, our bodies are dead—then we must give account for our lives (Heb. 9:27).

What exactly makes a person “inferior” to another? Poverty, lack of education, skin color, nationality, or lack of attractiveness? Does being a doctor, lawyer, politician, athlete, or movie star really make a person superior to the janitor, waitress, clerk, fuel station attendant, or housekeeper? Now, it’s easy to quickly answer with “no, of course not,” but I’ve observed such arrogance in churches and Bible colleges/seminaries as anywhere else. It’s not for no reason Paul noted in one of his letters, “knowledge puffs up” (1 Cor. 8:1), and addressed divisions, schisms, pride, and those who were “spiritual” and those who were not. But again, what makes a person “beneath” another? What makes another “unworthy” of respect and common courtesy? What makes anyone so high and mighty that it’s beneath them to say, “please,” “thank you,” “good morning,” or a polite “excuse me”?

When the Titanic was sinking, riches, charm, influence, skill, intelligence, and good looks didn’t benefit anyone. People boast about so much crap that’s here today and gone tomorrow. Those who are so cool and attractive now, their bodies  will one day join the rest of humanity in becoming dust, nothing more than the manure and dirt in the fields. Each of us will stand before our Creator and become aware in the fullest measure as to how pitifully insignificant we really are—but by His grace. With whatever measure of kindness or rudeness, mercy or contempt we’ve dished out to others will be measured back to us (Matt. 7:2).

God’s standards are so radically different than the world’s. The world is so impressed by the trivial, temporal, fleeting, and worthless. In the eyes of God, our careers, nice houses, good looks, and empires of dirt don’t mean much. Rather, “but only [in Christ] faith working through love” (Gal. 5:6).

The Scriptures admonish us with the following:

Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. ~ Romans 12:16

For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. ~ Galatians 6:3

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. ~ 1 Corinthians 13:1-2

But God said to him, “Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?” So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.” ~ Luke 12:20-21

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