Friday, March 18, 2011

Happy Hour

Ah, welcome to Happy Hour again! Tonight when I get home I'm going to sit down with a big ol' glass of water and relax. It's going to be a nice evening I'm sure!

Today I've really been thinking about what it means to be the "bigger person".
People use this term to indicate that they didn't react "in kind" when people did something against them. And it's usually used to make them look better than the other person. And generally I've found it is used as a way to gossip and talk bad about people. You know what I mean, we've all done it.
"I was talking to so-and-so and you wouldn't believe what she said. I on the other hand was the "bigger person" and didn't respond to what she said."
And, at this point, I think you're no longer the bigger person. At this point, you've stooped to their level. You've now talked bad about them behind their back. You've gossiped. To me, the term "bigger person" just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. So, I've been thinking about what it means to be the "bigger person" and I think I've came up with my own definition.
To me, if you're the "bigger person" you did the "right thing" because it was the right thing to do. You don't tell people you did the right thing and you don't talk bad about other people to make yourself and your "right thing" look better.
When I think about this, I relate it to the parable of the Pharisee and Tax Collector. Christ tells us that "those who exalt themselves will be humbled and those who humble themselves will be exalted." To me it seems that telling people how you are the bigger person is in essence exalting yourself. And, that is at least one thing Christ is teaching us about in this parable. The danger of exalting ourselves.
Quickly, let's define exalt. I dropped into and this is the definition they give: to raise in rank, honor, power, character, quality, etc.; to elevate. In Betty's language: to make something look good.
Is it hard not to exalt ourselves? Yes. I struggle with it, It's human nature to want to be praised when we do good. We want, I'm going to venture and say we need to be praised when we do good. And, I think that's why Christ didn't just tells about the Pharisee. If he just told us about the Pharisee all we would have learned is that we can't exalt ourselves. And that if we do, we will be humbled. And, In my experience, when God chooses to humble you, boy, that's not the best place to be because it usually hurts. It usually hurts my pride more than anything, and that I think hurts the worst. But, instead Christ continues and tells us about the tax collector.
He tells us about the tax collector and that "those who humble themselves will be exalted." Wow. That's kind of amazing if you think about it. When we do as God tells us and are humble. (Yeah, I know that pride thing's creeping up again...yuck...) ultimately we get the very thing we need. We are exalted. It is awesome how God works.
Now, I know that not every time will we be exalted immediately. Sometimes we might not be exalted until we get to heaven with God. And you know, I'm sure that SUCKS. But, I can't help but imagine that that is ultimately the most rewarding exaltation we will EVER receive. And to me, that is awesome.
So, all of this is to say, being the "bigger person" is so different than when we say it. The truly "bigger person" will do the right thing because it is the right thing. And when you're the bigger person, you won't feel the need to exalt yourself. Because Christ will be exalting you, and really that is so much better.
So, here's a toast to the weekend, a good bottle of wine or water, and doing the right thing.
<3 Mrs. B
This parable is found in Luke 18:9-14, if you want to check it out for yourself.


Kamika said...

Great post, and I totally agree with your point on "the bigger person"

Holy B. said...

So much uses of the word exalt. Makes me think of that old song, "I exalt Thee".

Joelle said...

Thanks so much for linking up today! I think you are so right about this misconception of what it means to be "the bigger person". Really, all that matters is that we do the right thing, whatever it be, and without expecting anything in return.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend, friend!


Married In Chicago said...

Great post! I struggle with doing the right thing and then not expecting to be praised for it. Right now, I'm trying hard to work on not expecting everyone to notice/getting positive feedback when I do something that I think is right.

(p.s - I'm stopping over as part of where we love happy hour. I absolute LOVE your wedding dress. I really wanted a dress with sleeves, but couldn't find one. Yours is adorable! I'm adding you to my reader!)

Anonymous said...

I loved reading your post Mare and I agree with you. Thank you for writing it and giving me insight.

brian jeansonne said...

This was a great post! I totally loved this part:

"The truly "bigger person" will do the right thing because it is the right thing. And when you're the bigger person, you won't feel the need to exalt yourself."

Very heavy and very cool. Great post! Thanks for sharing it!

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