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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Silliness of Vanity

"The wisdom of this world is foolishness in the eyes of God, for it is written: God catches the wise in their own ruses, and again: The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain." 1 Cor 3:19

Who of us is not vain? For some, it is their bodies or the color of their hair they worry about. For others, it is their insights or the sharpness of their minds. We think our memories of past events are accurate even when others have a different version.

Vanity invades us all, and invade is a good word. Most times we don't even recognize our own vanity. We offer an opinion in a conversation, but really think of it as a fact or as an interpretation that is unassailable. We pose for pictures holding our belly in or standing on tiptoe, all with the intention of impressing others. We can check ourselves in this regard by asking ourselves how often we repeat our opinion in a conversation, even when other people have clearly heard us and disagree!

St Paul knows a lot about vanity, and it is not an offense to him to suggest that it is his own vanity that allows him to be so insightful. Paul warns others that God sees through our pretensions and loves us in spite of our silliness. Offering others the same love God gives us when their vanity shows is a good spiritual practice.

Today, check your vanity at the door of our heart.

In what areas do you catch yourself insisting on your own opinion?

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