It was Friday and while most kids had already left school for the weekend, Harold found himself staying late to clean gum off desks in his classroom. He told the teacher he was just saving it for later but she didn't buy it and now he had to clean it off from every desk but first he had to find the custodian and get some cleaning supplies.
“Hello!” Harold called out when he got to the custodian's supply room, “Anybody here?” Receiving no answer, Harold started rummaging around looking for something to get the gum off the desks and he soon realized he was actually in the teacher's supply room and with all that stuff to get into he quickly forgot why he was even there.
“Just think of all the things I could do with this paint.” Harold thought out loud as he sat down on the floor to take a closer look. As he reached to take some a shove in his pocket he heard someone enter the room. Knowing he shouldn't be in there and not wanting to get caught he quickly rolled under a bottom shelf.
It wasn't long before Harold could see the feet of two teachers standing beside the shelf he was hiding under. As the teachers stood there, Harold could hear them talking about some of the kids in his class. He didn't pay much attention until one of the teachers mentioned the name Harold.
Thinking that they would have nothing good to say about him he was very surprised when he heard one start talking about how good he was. “I think Harold is the best student I have ever had.” he heard one of them say. “Wow!” Harold thought “I never knew I was that good. I wonder if they'll say anything else about me.”
“I have to agree.” the other teacher replied, “And Monday I plan to give Harold the Good Student Award in front of the entire class.” “Well,” The other teacher responded, “He sure deserves it. Harold is the first person I have ever had to ace the big test.” “Monday is really going to be a great day.” Harold thought to himself as he laid there for another half hour soaking in the praise of the teachers.
All weekend Harold could think of nothing but receiving the Good Student Award and rubbing it in his sister's face -literally and when Monday came around he couldn't wait to get to school.
“Class.” the teacher called out just before time to go home. “I would like to hand out the Good Student Award and I would like Harold Henderson to come to the front of the room.” Upon hearing the name Harold, Harold jumped up and headed to the front of the room. “I'm here!” Harold told the teacher. “Why?” The teacher asked, “I didn't call your name, I called Harold Henderson. But, as long as you are here, you need to report to the principle's office. You forgot to do something last Friday.”
“Oh, great!” Harold mumbled and turned to leave and as he did he bumped into a boy with glasses and a pencil over his ear. “Hi, Harold.” he said, “I'm Harold Henderson. See you later.” “This is not good.” Harold mumbled and than walked into a closed door embarrassing himself even more.
In the book of Esther there is this story of a man who was just like Harold Peterson - conceited. Here's the story.
That night the king had trouble sleeping, so he ordered an attendant to bring the historical records of his kingdom so they could be read to him. In those records he discovered an account of how Mordecai had exposed the plot of Bigthana and Teresh, two of the eunuchs who guarded the door to the king's private quarters. They had plotted to assassinate the king. "What reward or recognition did we ever give Mordecai for this?" the king asked. His attendants replied, "Nothing has been done." "Who is that in the outer court?" the king inquired. Now, as it happened, Haman had just arrived in the outer court of the palace to ask the king to hang Mordecai from the gallows he had prepared. So the attendants replied to the king, "Haman is out there." "Bring him in," the king ordered. So Haman came in, and the king said, "What should I do to honor a man who truly pleases me?" Haman thought to himself, "Whom would the king wish to honor more than me?" So he replied, "If the king wishes to honor someone, he should bring out one of the king's own royal robes, as well as the king's own horse with a royal emblem on its head. Instruct one of the king's most noble princes to dress the man in the king's robe and to lead him through the city square on the king's own horse. Have the prince shout as they go, `This is what happens to those the king wishes to honor!' " "Excellent!" the king said to Haman. "Hurry and get the robe and my horse, and do just as you have said for Mordecai the Jew, who sits at the gate of the palace. Do not fail to carry out everything you have suggested." So Haman took the robe and put it on Mordecai, placed him on the king's own horse, and led him through the city square, shouting, "This is what happens to those the king wishes to honor!" Afterward Mordecai returned to the palace gate, but Haman hurried home dejected and completely humiliated. - Esther 6:1-12 (NLT)
Haman's conceit eventually led him to a hanging – his own. God's word gives us many warning when it comes to being conceited. Here are some. Of them
- Proverbs 3:7a Never let yourself think that you are wiser than you are; (TEV)
- Romans 12:3a Because God has given me a special gift, I have something to say to everyone among you. Do not think you are better than you are. (NCV)
- Romans 12:16 Live in harmony with each other. Don't try to act important, but enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don't think you know it all! (NLT)
- Philippians 2:3-4 Don't be selfish; don't live to make a good impression on others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourself. Don't think only about your own affairs, but be interested in others, too, and what they are doing. (NLT)
The answer to conceit is also found in the verses above and it is humility.
Here's Something To Ponder
- Do you think yourself better than you really are?
- When you are praised, do you let it go to your head?