“You are getting too big for your britches.” I grew up hearing this phrase a lot, not to me mind you…to others around me…never about me! Just because the voice I hear in my memory is my Gram and I just happen to be there doesn’t necessarily mean she was speaking to me. 🙂 For you younger folk or perhaps those who didn’t grow up on the East Coast, this saying is a kind way of reminding someone that they are thinking more of themselves than they ought to be.
A few years ago God began to get my attention around the fact that everything is about Him and not necessarily about me. At first this was a bit (to put it mildly) difficult to swallow. What do you mean that the earth, sun, moon, the (what ever) doesn’t evolve around what I think, believe or feel like? How could that possibly be true. I am after all vitally important to the grand scheme of things…aren’t I? I mean, everyone is entitled to my opinion…aren’t they?
I’ve heard a few opinions over the years that God is this huge egomaniac who created us just so that He could get all the focus and the accolades. Well I guess to those who don’t know God this could look like what He is all about. But to those who do know God it is definitely not who He is. I mean, seriously…He’s God he doesn’t need the focus or accolades because…well…He’s God! Life is actually all about Him and His plan for us. It’s not something to be afraid of because God only wants what is best for us. This does not mean that we all have to become like little cookie cutter types of people. God created us with our unique, quirky, loud, exuberant personalities. We just have to check to see if our britches are getting too tight every now and again.
Then who is God? The Holy Bible tells us that He is Elohim – The Strong, Faithful, and Only True God (Gen. 1:1); El-Elyon – The Most High God (Psa. 47:2); El-Olam – The Eternal God (Gen. 1:33); El-Roi – The God Who Sees (Gen. 16:13); El-Shaddai – The Almighty, All-Sufficient God (Gen 17:1,2); Adonai – Lord and Master; Jehovah – I AM (Exo. 6:2,3); Jehovah-Jireh – I AM the Lord who provides (Gen 22:14); Jehovah-M’kaddesh – I AM the Lord who sanctifies (Lev. 20:7,8); Jehovah-Nissi – I AM the Lord your banner (Exo. 17:15); Jehovah- Rohi – I AM the Lord your shepherd (Psa. 23:1); Jehovah-Rapha – I AM the Lord who heals (Exo. 15:26); Jehovah- Sabaoth – I AM the Lord of hosts (1 Sam. 17:45); Jehovah-Shalom – I AM the Lord your peace (Judg. 6:24); Jehovah-Shammah – I AM the Lord Who is there (Eze. 48:35); Jehovah-Tsidkenu – I AM the Lord your righteousness (Jer. 23:5,6).
So what does this tell us? God is the only true god; He is the highest authority to go to; He lives forever; He sees everything; and He is sufficient all by himself...hmmm maybe then he doesn’t really need me. Here’s the thing, God doesn’t “need” me (us) in the sense that He has to have my cooperation to get the things done that He wants to accomplish. My opinion really has no place here (ouch). However He does love me. In fact He loves me (us) so much that He sent His son, Jesus to pay the ultimate price for us. Read the Bible and it will show you just how much we are loved and what God did to make sure that we could once again have a relationship with Him. It’s quite amazing actually.
Let’s get back to our britches. I think that too many times we, those who believe in Christ, let our “flesh” get in the way of what God is wanting to do. What I mean here is how often do we enter into our home church expecting to be “fed” but come out “hungry” muttering to those around us about things that would be best muttered between you and God? (I just have to interject here and give my “opinion”, seriously if we go into a church service “hungry”, needing to be fed, I would have to ask us to examine our “cupboards” at home and ask when was the last time we were in the Word for ourselves? Sometimes the preaching that day isn’t for us but for someone else who is just beginning to walk with Jesus. Now go figure that…it isn’t about us all the time. Hmmm guess I have to check to see if my britches are too tight.) How many times do we leave a church service “offended” about what was said from the pulpit, by the music that was sung, or by a “look” that you “think” that someone gave you from a few rows over? (That person that “looked” at you perhaps he/she didn’t even see you but was thinking about a problem that they are concerned about which produced the frown on his/her face.) Then instead of bringing these offences to God we talk about them with others. Here’s a good one, how many of us get upset with something that has changed in our churches, either with the way a service is being run or a personnel change? (Here I would think the issue would be that we weren’t “told” that this change was happening…really do we think we should be kept in the loop for all things?) Again I would have to ask how tight are our britches getting? Do we really think that everything and everyone should cater to us and our personal preferences?
Is it easy to get our “britches” to fit again. No, but it is not impossible. We just need to acknowledge that it’s not all about us and allow the Holy Spirit to change our hearts. We need to understand there are other things happening around us for a reason, for a purpose that sometimes only God knows the answer to. We have to learn to trust Him and to let go of our own selfish desires which are contrary to what God would have for us. There is nothing to be afraid of in acknowledging that we are not #1. Psalms 9:10 tells us that, “Those who know Your name trust in You, for You, O Lord, have never abandoned anyone who searches for You.” We can give up the fight clawing our way to the top because we are already there. In God’s eyes we are His children and he loves us all the same he will never leave us.
Here’s to making sure that our britches remain loose.