«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 1 2:3).
The luxurious apartments of the Richelieu building on the Pass Christian beaches (Mississippi, USA), had their own entertainment programs for the holiday makers from the big city. They were having a lot of fun with their carefree spirit and the abundance of alcoholic drinks. Then, the police received an alarming news: hurricane Camille was reaching the Western Cuban coast and was getting closer to the Gulf of Mexico and would strike the Mississippi state. Jerry Peralta, the police chief, mobilized his team to evacuate all the coast buildings. Most of the people obeyed his orders, but a large group of people from the Richelieu building defied the agent:
«Mr. Peralta, we are on our own property and you’ll need an arrest warrant to take us out of here! We’ve survived many hurricanes. This building is as strong as a rock!»
That night, the hurricane swept through the and Mississippi Richelieu pi coast with winds of more than 280km/h; many buildings disappeared was among them. It was the 17th of August 1969. Camille was the second most powerful hurricane of the twentieth century, following the one from 1935. The town of Pass Christian had 78 victims—most of whom thought they were strong enough to survive without evacuating.
Low self-esteem entails risks such as loss of academic and labor performance, difficulties in relationships, vulnerability toward psychoactive substance addiction, becoming victims of abuse, anxiety and depression, among others. But excessive self-esteem is arrogance which leads to devastating situations like the attitude of the residents of the Richelieu building, and worst of all, it leads to moral perdition. Actually, attitudes such as vainglory, conceit, arrogance, pride, and vanity are diametrically opposed to the characteristics of a humble Christian spirit.
The apostle neither recommends arrogance nor self-hatred. He invites us to a wise (or balanced) way of thinking about ourselves. Some are tempted to reach the limit of haughtiness; others, self-loathing. Whether you tend to be on one end or the other, think about the talents God has given you. At the same time, practice humbleness by looking up to Jesus as the supreme model who «did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many» (Mark 10:45).