Douglas and I were visiting in the home of some new friends recently. The two brothers and two sisters live together and care for each other. One of the two men shared how his daddy had helped a cousin financially when the cousin was growing up, He related how that cousin came regularly to see his daddy, and he’d always leave with the money that his daddy gave him. But now after the father is no longer living they never hear from the cousin. He said the cousin seems to think he is too good to associate with any of their family, and they seldom ever see him. I could sense the disappointment in his voice, and said, “Grandma would say, ‘He got too big for his britches.’”
We’ve all seen people who have gotten “too big for their britches,” so to speak. As some might say “they think more highly of themselves than they ought to think,” or “they forgot their roots.” The Bible probably refers to it as selfishness. Thinking only of self, and not thinking of others. Another word we could insert is ungrateful.
No doubt when this took place times were hard. The man said they didn’t have much, but his daddy would always give his cousin money before he left. The daddy had a giving heart, and he made a lasting impression on his fine son.
It’s a sad thing to be selfish, to want all you can get for as little as possible and at others expense. We’ve all seen and known people like that, but Christians aren’t to be selfish. We’re not to be like the person I once heard about who liked to say, “My name is Jimmy, and I’ll take all you gimme.” Oh no! We are to be givers, lovers of doing for others, whether financially, physically or any other way.
Our Lord was a giver. He still is. He gave the most valuable thing that He had, His only begotten son, because He was thinking of you and me, long before we ever knew Him. He continues to give us blessings as His children, and there are other promises of gifts waiting for those of us who strive to do His will faithfully. How about a crown of life? Or what about the promise of a mansion being built just for you? How about living where there will be no death, no sadness or tears, only good and beautiful things provided by our Lord. No selfishness at all in this Great Giver’s heart. He gave the best He had, and continues to bless us with countless blessings day by day. The Bible says he will bestow upon us blessings that we don’t have room enough to receive (Mal. 3:10). It’s true.
How about you? Are you a giver or a taker? Have you gotten “too big for your britches,” and forgotten from whom all blessings flow? If we are not careful, the world can make us cruel, hard-nosed people, who are forgetful to pattern and shape our lives after the Master.
The song states, “Others, Lord, yes others. Let this my motto be. Help me to live for others, that I might live like thee.”