Friday, December 21, 2012

Holiday Social Climbing

I have been reading a masterful book entitled Vanity Fair by Thackeray, which discusses in great measure the art of social climbing and the natural consequences of various personalities and behavior in society.  It has greatly influenced my thinking as we wade through the exceedingly social month of December.  In every handful of people you will find the honest, goodhearted disciples of God; you will also find those who use religion to condemn others until they get their way, and those who worship social climbing for the honors of the world.  It is regarding the last group that I intended to write.

If you are at all like me you can probably point out a few people on your holiday list that you know are not going to respond kindly to gestures of good will.  Their pride and haughtiness often lead them to shun gifts unless they are from the "right" people or from the "right" stores or are something highly in vogue.  You know who I mean - you know people of that description too.  In my Christmas efforts I have already met with one who worships the birth of Christ in that line and know that there is another upcoming.  Upon my presentation of honest, genuine kindness to the first she completely shunned me.  Absolute cold shoulder.  Not surprising.  I expected it.  One may ask "Then why do it?"

That is my ultimate point.  If you want to wisely climb a social ladder you have to step back and look at the entire picture.  I acted as I did in good desires to treat all people as God would see fit.  I didn't do it to be seen of others, but others did in fact see it and also her behavior.  In the long run, who won?  Are most people going to say "how dare Michelle behave so kindly?" Well, some may pity my apparent ignorance but it will not be in harsh judgment.  How many people do you think would see that and say "What a snob (the other girl) is!"  Their littleness does not degrade me; it merely illustrates their spiritual and emotional poverty.  When we are kind to others without reservation we ultimately rise in the opinion of God and all those around us.  When we insist in gratifying our ungrateful pride, we ultimately sink.  Truthfully, I cannot as an honest person help but pity those who employ the holidays for holding to the more shallow things of this world.  Pray for those who knowingly offend you for if they cannot put their pride away during the warmest and kindest portion of the year, how much joy could they possibly have in their lives? 

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