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      Nurturing people in the image of God since 1868.                                                                          POB 397/520 Dry Creek Rd./Smithville, TN




Letting Out A Little Esteem

Someone noted that proud people are those who are always letting off esteem. The Bible teaches the healthiest view we can have of ourselves is to see ourselves the way God does (Romans 12:3). As human beings we are made in the image of God and are the crowning act of God's creation, imbued with qualities and a nature that sets us apart and above every other creature God ever made. Though every accountable human being mars that image through sin (Romans 3:23), we are so valuable to God that He gave His Son to die on Calvary's cross to redeem us (Romans 3:24). The problem is not that we recognize our importance to God — the problem is when we begin to become so full of ourselves we forget our need for God. Author Ashleigh Brilliant once penned (tongue in cheek we hope), "All I ask of life is a constant and exaggerated sense of my own importance." His statement reminds us that "ego" can stand for "edging God out." No human being alive has a right to brag or strut in the presence of God or ignore our need for Him.  Years ago Owen Cosgrove told a story about a truck-driver who was furious

His "semi" had just stopped at a low railroad overpass on an out-of-the-way highway. The trailer was about two inches too high to pass under the structure, and the nearest alternate route would take the driver over a hundred miles out of the way. The driver was behind schedule with a load of perishable produce, and he was fuming. "Stupid to build a truck that tall. What bunch of turkeys would build a bridge that low? Why didn't that yo-yo of a dispatcher tell me about this low overpass?" A car edged around the truck, and the driver beep-beeped his horn. "Aw yeah, go on and honk, you jerk!" he yelled. He let out a string of profane expletives and shook his fist at the car as it rolled on out of sight. He was getting redder in the neck by the moment. He slammed the truck door to and kicked one of the front tires. "Sometimes," he said out loud, "I m just tempted to quit and chuck the whole thing." About that time a young boy happened along walking his dog. He had on a straw hat and was carrying a fishing pole and a little can of worms. "Whatcha so mad at, mister?" he asked innocently. The driver barked out several curse words and kicked the tire again. The little boy calmly looked the situation over and said, "Mister, if you'd let a little air out of those tires, your truck would go under." The driver was stunned. After a moment's thought, he quickly followed the lad's advice, eased his big rig under the overpass, and filled his tires at a service station down the road. Kudos to that young boy and Owen Cosgrove for reminding us that sometimes our greatest problem is we are just too full of ourselves. Jesus warned against a "too-full-of-self" spirit —"Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 5:3). When we are full of ourselves, the best thing we can do is to let out a little esteem!

Dan Gulley
Smithville church of Christ