Monday, October 25, 2010

What's In a Word?

Every now and then you come across a new word that really pops. Recently, someone sent me one such word. It is "Magnanimity." It even looks like a cool word. And here's what it means:

Magnanimity: n. Greatness of mind; that elevation or dignity of soul, which encounters danger and trouble with tranquility and firmness, which raises the possessor above revenge, and makes him delight in acts of benevolence, which makes him disdain injustice and meanness, and prompts him to sacrifice personal ease, interest, and safety for the accomplishment of useful and noble purposes.

WOW! Now that's a powerful word. And the definition just jumps out and screams to me, "Is that you?" Uhmm, well...maybe not so much. I really don't consider my mind so great. That whole dignity of the soul thing really causes me to pause. Maybe I look at trouble and see opportunity, but tranquility and firmness? I realize more so in my older years that I really do seek something better than revenge. I do actually get giddy when I do something great for someone else. And I really do hate injustice in all its forms. And mean people...I don't have much time for. And oh how I am seeking a life that would more easily sacrifice what's best for me. And some day I pray that someone would reflect on my life and say I was a useful and noble person.

Let's be real here. None of us can really say we are there...yet. But that's the beauty of such words. They inpire us to be something more, something better, something bigger than ourselves. How crazy it is to think we could possibly become that kind of person on our own.

Philippians 1:65 says it so well, "He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion." Ahh, there it is. On those days when I get discouraged and feel kind of useless, I can be rest assured that God is simply at work in me and will get me to a place that only he can design. And that, my friends is one magnanimous thought.