During morning coffee at Fitch’s IGA, topics are many and varied. Our conversation is frequently interspersed with colloquial phrases and rural idioms. A few days ago, yet another such saying surfaced. Someone commented about a person of interest, “He gettin’ too big for his britches”. As we use the phrase, it means conceited, self-important, or unacceptably cocky.
The phrase brought to mind a comment shared by Larry Winkleman, my Sunday school teacher. He related the following conversation: A man said to his son, “You are getting too big for your britches”. He added, “Remember, I taught you everything you know, but not everything I know!”
Some among us may know more theology and scripture than others, but a lesson from Job needs to be reviewed. “Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said “Who is this who darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Now prepare yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer Me. “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding” (Job 38:1-4, NKJV).
The scripture leaves little doubt that conceit and self-importance are unacceptable to the Lord. “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 offers this word of wisdom: “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 6:18, NKJV).
The Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthian Church: “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). To the Roman Church, Paul wrote,“Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded…by the law of faith” (Romans 3:27, NKJV).
“Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and depart from evil. It will be health to your flesh, And strength to your bones” (Proverbs 3:7, NKJV).
~ Brother Roy