Matt Hampton is a native of Phoenix and serves as a faculty member in the College of Theology at Grand Canyon University. He studied business at Arizona State University before completing an MDiv from Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary and then an MEd degree. He has adopted five children and is a foster parent. He is married to his beautiful wife Carol Hampton, and they preside in the Phoenix area.
As a season ticket holder to GCU basketball games, I have a lot of fun with my family. The fan section called the HAVOCS are the best fans in the nation. It is very common to see them with huge “Fathead” faces of Dan Majerle, Jerry Colangelo and even our president Brian Mueller. It is exciting to see all of these fans cheering in a wonderful atmosphere.
As I pondered these huge faces coming to life, I realized that I often have a spiritual “fat” head. I often think more of myself than I should, and I often envy or compare myself to other faculty around me that are spiritual giants. I even get jealous at times. Why is it so easy for me to fall into the trap of comparing myself to others, and maybe thinking more of myself because I get to take on responsibilities that others might not have the chance to work on? Why do I seemingly develop a very false sense of pride?
As I was reading scriptures, I realized that I am not in bad company when it comes to thinking too highly of myself. The spiritual giants of the early church, who were the disciples of Jesus Christ, even argued who was the greatest among them while Jesus was still with them. I can imagine Jesus just shaking his head and gently chiding them. We see this in Luke 9:46-48 and again in Luke 22:24-27. Jesus always reminded them to get back to being servants to others before thinking of themselves.
I do not know about you, but this is often very hard for me to do. I am just thankful that even when I mess up in this area, I can realize that even the best of the spiritual giants (the early disciples) did this. So, I should never beat myself up too much when I mess up in the same way.
Galatians 6:14 in scripture explains to us that we should never boast in anything but the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. People have a very keen sense of awareness when I genuinely boast in nothing but the cross and my life is transparently lived out in that manner. When I am prideful, they can sense it and I can feel it. I get uneasy, fearful, anxious, grumpy and many other things that the flesh brings out. When I give it all to Christ and I take my pride out of the picture, I allow the spirit to lead me and it leads to peace, joy, contentment, gentleness and the many other things that reflect living my life in the spirit.
When my head gets spiritually “fat,” I am often reminded by others who hold me accountable and they “deflate” my “fat” head back into the servant’s heart that it should be. My wife and my kids are the best at doing this for me. Just like Jesus gently reminded his disciples, others bring me back to reality as well.
How “Fat” is your spiritual head? Are you boasting in nothing but the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ? Are you being the servant leader that Christ called you to be? Who do you have around to help you when you get too caught up in your own self? Be blessed this week and do not be too hard on yourself if you have messed up in this area. Draw hope from the disciple’s examples and know that God’s grace and the cross are right there for you to lean on and draw strength from.
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