Love is not boastful or arrogant

Friday 24th February, 2023

Love is humble.

Have you ever seen the picture of the pale blue dot, or heard Carl Sagan’s speech about it?
The picture is taken from the outer limits of our solar system, it shows the earth as a tiny dot in a sea of darkness and space dust. Sagan said

“That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering…. Every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there- on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam”

There have been 117 billion (give or take) human beings on that tiny planet in this vast universe, all of them remarkable miracles of life in a vast cold universe, and you. You’re the only one who is you!
I believe you are the masterpiece of a divine creator, who, despite the fact you live for the briefest of time on a mote of dust, delights over you with songs of joy. Whether you believe you were put here in love by a creator or evolved as part of a happy accident, what matters is that you know you are totally, completely and utterly wonderful!

Knowing that is not boastful or arrogant. Knowing your worth as a unique beautiful human, created in the image of God is not prideful. Loving yourself as you are created to be, celebrating that person, is good, as the psalmist said “Lord I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139)

The boastful and the arrogant love themselves above others. It’s not about you, it’s about everyone else. You are an amazing human, never forget that. So is everyone else, and as long as you also never forget that then you will do just fine.

Self confidence is good, healthy self esteem is good for our wellbeing, it protects us against abuse, it helps us set boundaries and it helps us build strength and resilience so we can be successful. A person with healthy self esteem knows their worth.

Having healthy self esteem and humility are not mutually exclusive. A humble person recognises the worth of others and seeks to empower them. Jesus is a perfect example. Jesus knew he was God, he knew his capabilities, having the faith to walk on water, turn water into wine and the confidence to preach to large crowds of people. Yet, at every given opportunity he used his strength to empower others, telling people their own faith has healed them for example, and he didn’t hesitate to take on menial tasks such as washing his disciples feet.

Love doesn’t elevate itself above others, but humbly seeks out opportunities to serve other people.