Lifelines — Fit to be Tied Part 1

Posted 8/16/18

Fit to be tied

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Lifelines — Fit to be Tied Part 1


Fit to be tied

Cassell's Dictionary of Slang says “fit to be tied” is mid-19th century in origin. Cassell just says the phrase evokes someone "so hysterically furious that they need to be tied down." However, given that in the mid-19th century the straitjacket was in common use for restraining mental patients, the phrase seems to originate with that.

If you want to talk about greatness, you have to first talk about humility.

That was what Jesus told the disciples as they disputed among themselves as to “who should be the greatest” in Mark 9:33. “And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all.” (Mark 9:35).

And that’s how we should pattern our lives — after Christ, who humbled himself — took on the sins of the world — and became our Savior (Philippians 2:5-11).

“I’m number one — me first.” How often have you heard, “If you don’t take care of number one, no one else will.”

The “me-first” attitude controls the minds of many people. It has caused the breakup of families, shattered marriages, instigated murder, began wars and it even causes auto accidents. The arrogance of “me first” is fueled by greed and the grasp for fame and recognition.

Paul talks to the Philippians about their walk in “unity and humility" in this second chapter of his letter to them. “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory, he said, “but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.”

It takes examining our motives and attitudes. “Look at me — I’m the greatest!” is the cry of the insecure as well as the haughty. Those who cry loudest are sometimes the ones who feel lowest. That doesn’t mean they are humble.

Of course, people have various notions about what humility is. A minister was calling on a parishioner around noon one day and when he knocked at the door, the lady of the house answered, hair uncombed and wearing a shabby housecoat. She explained, “Pastor, I felt so humble today that I decided it would be prideful if I got dressed up, so I haven’t done anything about my appearance all day.”

Years ago I read that humility is the attribute, when once acknowledged, that is gone. That’s like saying, “I’m so proud I’m humble” — in other words, “I’m humble, and proud of it.” Whoosh! It’s gone.

Golda Meir (1898-1978) once said, “Don’t be so humble. You’re not that great.”

Honor-grabbing is not included in the list of activities for Christians. Wanting to be greatest is not childlike — but childish. Remember in grade school, how little groups would surround someone on the playground and ask, “Who do you like the best?” That seems to be an inherent thing in people.

True humility is not putting oneself down — it is allowing Jesus Christ to lift you up in his grace — to have that childlikeness which enables a person to receive the gifts of God, appreciate them and use them for his glory. “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure (Philippians 2:13).

Trust, dependence, concern for others — these are the clothes of humility and they are beautiful, both to the wearer and to the beholder.


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