“A prideful person tears others down, but a humble person builds others up.”
~Allen R. Kive
Have you ever watched someone put somebody else down, sometimes for seemingly no good reason. I know I’m guilty of having done this, as I’m sure most people are as well. When I question my motives for doing so, I find that it isn’t that I genuinely want to hurt the other person’s feelings, or make them feel or look bad, instead, it’s done for the purpose of making myself look better. Although, it seems like a stupid reason for making others look bad (and it is), I find myself doing it relatively often.
Ultimately, it’s an issue of pride. I want to look good; seem better than the “other guy.” I’m not out to be a mean-spirited bully, and most of the time my “put down” comments wouldn’t even be considered to be “mean” by others. But, nevertheless, they’re still “put-down” comments.
It might just be me making fun of my little brother for getting pizza and french fries at a Chinese buffet, or making a comment about how my sister has such a terrible sense of direction that she wouldn’t be able to navigate our own neighborhood without a GPS.
You could say these are just examples of lighthearted jesting, but what’s their purpose? In the end, my motives for saying these things is to just make myself look better. After all, when I go to the Chinese buffet I would never eat pizza and french fries. And I don’t need a GPS – I can go anywhere and find my way around easily (yeah, right).
But why should I make myself look better at the expense of others? The answer is, I shouldn’t. I need to stop being concerned with my own image and being so prideful. Instead of making comments that put others down, I should make ones that build them up.
A humble person is less likely to put someone else down, because they aren’t concerned about making themselves look good. In fact, you’ll often find the people who encourage best, are also very humble individuals.
So the next time your tempted to put somebody else down, pause for a moment and question your motive. If it’s to make yourself look better, humble yourself and make an encouraging comment instead.
1 Thessalonians 5:11a says, “Encourage one another and build each other up.”
Let’s do it!