Too Puffed Up



Luke 14: 8-11


Jesus said, “When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited.  If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, ‘Give this man your seat.’  Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place.  But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up to a better place.’  Then you will be honored in the presence of all your fellow guests.  For EVERYONE WHO EXALTS HIMSELF WILL BE HUMBLED, AND HE WHO HUMBLES HIMSELF WILL BE EXALTED.”


Mathew 21: 26-28


Jesus said, “Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—JUST AS THE SON OF MAN DID NOT COME TO BE SERVED, BUT TO SERVE, AND TO GIVE HIS LIFE AS A RANSOM FOR MANY.


I Corinthians 1: 30


It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is our righteousness, holiness, and redemption.  THEREFORE, IT IS WRITTEN:  “LET HIM WHO BOASTS BOAST IN THE LORD.”


I have been around horses in one-way or another for as long as I can remember.  I tell you the truth—God and horses have a way of keeping a person humble!


In the sport of barrel racing there are always “carrots” being dangled in front of our noses.  There, of course, is the money. Right behind the money there are saddles, buckles, breast collars, and the list goes on of the number of “things” a person can win by competing.  Championships are handed out from the local saddle club to the NFR.


Win a few of these awards and a person may get a good case of what I call “BHS”.  This is short for Big Head Syndrome.  It can strike any person, any time, anywhere.  It strikes without warning.  However, a person should not be surprised when it strikes because it may be invited.  I have seen it happen in every level of competition.  A person wins a few awards and all of a sudden they are so puffed up with themselves they actually become offensive.  These “winners’ forget the season will pass and the next season will bring other champions to take their place.  They are moved from the most important place to the least important place (see Luke 14).  They are put in a humbling situation.  Like I said, God and horses have a way of doing it to you!


When you consider the big picture you, hopefully, realize how fleeting the awards and accolades are.  The only really important thing in this life, at least to me, is how well did I serve others and my Lord, and where will I spend the next life?  If I am striving to be like Christ I must serve others.  I am not saying don’t try for those championships but in the process be aware of all situations and be available to serve others when God moves you to do so (see Mathew 21).


It is very easy to say, “I bought this horse from so-and-so” instead of “God gave me this horse.”  It is also easy to think “I am hot right now” instead of “God has put me in a wonderful position to praise Him and present the gospel to others.”  It is even easier to believe we accomplish what we do on our own steam instead of realizing we would be nothing without the Lord and the Holy Spirit to guide and protect us.  Everyday we have opportunities to boast about what God has done for us but do we?  I believe we all miss the mark in the most opportune situations but hopefully we will learn whom and what is important so when we are put in a winning situation we use that situation to boast about what God has done in our life (see I Corinthians). 


How about when we are not winning?  Not even close to winning a thing?  Do we still boast on God?  Do we still praise His name? You bet!  That is, indeed, the most fun time because we know if we do not loose sight of our goal in serving the Lord when we are down how much better it is going to be when we are up!  Because you know what?  There are no losers in God’s race.  We are all winners!


So what is to be learned here?  First, let us not think too highly of our accomplishments and ourselves.  Keep it in perspective.  Second, make yourself available to do God’s work. In all situations be a servant.  Third, whatever situation you find yourself in praise God for where you are and what He helps you accomplish in that situation.


Don’t get too “puffed up”.  Pride comes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall (Proverbs 16: 18).