At a gathering of the local coffee drinkers at Fitch’s Grocery, a group of men were focused on a picture of a near-record-antlered deer bagged in the area. One of the men exclaimed about the hunter, “I bet he’s puffed up like a big toad.” I’ve heard that saying since my youth, but this time I took a minute to consider the meaning.
Of course the Internet was the first source I checked. It’s amazing what you can find on the Internet. I soon found information about toads, not to be confused with plain old frogs. One of the sites yielded the following: “Puffing Up – toads try to look bigger and intimidating (as if a toad could be intimidating) by puffing themselves up” (Toad-ally Cool Facts by Darcy Drayce). Next, I checked with the local men of wisdom. One of the sages, Ron Ray, offered his understanding of being ‘puffed up’. He said it was someone who thought they were bigger than they really were. He also offered a parallel saying: “He’s getting too big for his britches.”
There is a spiritual application to be made about being puffed up. Scripture says, “Do not be puffed up with pride. Tremble rather–for if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will He spare you” (Romans 11:21, WNT). The Apostle Paul offers this additional advice: “For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith” (Romans 12:3, NKJV). Solomon advances this bit of wisdom: “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 6:18, NKJV).
In this day of narcissism and ‘look at me’ posturing, we would be well-served to consider the Biblical advice. A humble heart has no room for ego or pride or arrogance, because it recognizes that all we have and all we are comes from God. The Apostle Paul reminded the Corinthians: “For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?” (1 Corinthians 4:7, NKJV). Every gift, every talent, every breath we take—all are from God, as is our most precious gift, salvation. “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9). “Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded…by the law of faith” (Romans 3:27, NKJV).
“And what does the Lord require of you, but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?”
(Micah 6:8, NKJV)
~ Brother Roy