My grandmother had some great sayings. One she used often was to not “get too big for your britches.” She knew an awful lot about youngsters getting out of order, as she raised two strong-willed (but good-hearted) boys. Getting too big for one’s britches had multiple meanings…an inflated ego, a bad attitude or a smart mouth. It was intended to tell a younger generation that they weren’t quite “grown” yet.
Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” I Peter 5:5
This wise saying has stayed with me since youth. We’ve all encountered those good folks who need the occasional, gentle attitude adjustment. It might be pride – with just a touch of self-importance thrown in as well.
Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him. Proverbs 26:12
And sometimes (ok…maybe more often than I like to admit) I need those attitude adjustments myself.
I recently received a call from an old family friend. He brought up an exchange from our recent past in which, in his words, I had been insensitive and dismissive. In reflecting back on that time, I remember being in the midst of one of life’s busy, stressful periods. Perhaps it was a lack of focus…or pride…but whatever the reason, I had gotten too big for my britches. It was unintentional, but I had hurt his feelings.
All I could do was to humbly apologize and ask for forgiveness…and to thank them for being a good friend.
Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Philippians 2:3
I was grateful to have another chance with this friend. It reminded me to be careful with words and attitude- as you never know how your response might impact another.
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:32
Thank goodness for forgiveness. And, for people who remind us to wear proper-fitting britches.