Looking Down One’s Nose

Proverbs 30:13  

There is a generation, O how lofty are their eyes! and their eyelids are lifted up.
They look proudly around, casting disdainful glances. (NLT)

I remember driving one of my children to a soccer tournament at a private school. Leaving the road there was a long private driveway leading up to the school where parents of children belonging to the school were directed to a tarmacked/asphalted area close to the playing fields to park their Range Rovers, Mercedes and BMWs. Those of us from the state schools were pointed in the direction of an un-surfaced car park at the rear of the school. During the tournament the parents of the private school kids stuck out a mile. They were easily recognizable by the way they dressed, the way they spoke, and to be honest – the names of their children. They did not mix with the rest of us, and most of the state school parents concluded that these people were looking proudly around, casting disdainful glances at us. Consequently, much pleasure was derived from the fact that our team won the tournament.

Pride and arrogance are often attributed to the wealthy and those who consider themselves to belong to a superior social class. On this occasion that is just how it seemed, but in hindsight I would say that we state school parents also had an attitude problem. Just as we felt we were being judged, we also judged. And that is the danger with lofty eyes. Any human being can fall into the trap of looking down on others. Jesus had strong words for the religious leaders of His day on this subject in Matthew 23. There is always danger in considering ourselves better than someone else, and that is surely why such a warning is included in Proverbs.

Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing
 by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself
 by becoming obedient to death – even death on a cross! (Philippians 2: 1-8 NIV)

About David

David: Half Scot, grew up in Guernsey and the UK. Lives in one of the most rural counties of the UK not far from the Welsh border. Father of Nick who encouraged David to start blogging. Married to Marilyn for 40+ years. Four other children in addition to Nick. Eight grandchildren. Former Merchant Navy officer now getting closer and closer to retirement. View all posts by David

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