The Common Snob

Times they are a-changin’. If I thought snobbery was only for the rich and famous, I now know that is a lie. The truth is, snobs are common, and anyone in any situation has the potential of becoming one.

The other day, at my neighborhood grocery store, I noticed a woman carrying the stores recyclable bag. I too had a recyclable bag with me. If you aren’t saving the planet one plastic bag at a time, it’s possible you do not know what an elitist club that users of recyclable bags belong to. Trust me, it’s kind of a big deal. Since membership in the “bag club” at an organic market is relatively common, it really best to display your recyclable bag at the neighborhood market where it really gets noticed. See, the bag say’s, “I care, and I am doing my part. So PLEASE don’t ask me to give a dollar when I get to the register”.

After seeing a fellow member, I had to impress her with my membership badge. So without hesitation, I flipped my bag on my shoulder, and proudly displayed the logo from the organic market down the street. It was as if to say, “I prefer organic, but I’m feeling crazy”.

As soon as I flipped the logo out my face started to become hot. I was so embarrassed by my foolish pride. I struggled to pull my bag off my shoulder and throw it back in the cart, hoping the woman did not notice. If you’ve ever tried to do anything in a panic, you know it is nearly impossible to emote grace and ease. From the look on the woman’s face, I must have looked like the bag was attacking me. We exchanged uncomfortable smiles as we passed each other and I made my way the checkout counter. My hope was just to make it home without any further embarrassment. The whole event took 4 seconds.

Yes, times they are a-changin’. Now, a snob can be anyone.The world offers so many insignificant club memberships and we race like ox to the slaughter to become a part of them. But the secret no one wants us to know is that membership in these worthless clubs only distracts us from what really matters. Memberships exclude, Jesus invites. William Faulkner said, “A snob has to spend so much time being a snob that he has little time to meddle with you.” I definitely see truth in that. I was so focused on showing that woman my cool logo and then, consequently, running away from her in shame, that I never stopped to think maybe there was another reason we at the same place at the same time. Proverbs 16:9 says,

In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps

Since God knew we would meet, I doubt His plan was for me to show off, but it could have been to teach me this lesson. You see, I learned that I could have told her about another kind of membership, the kind based on the incorruptible and not the insignificant. I could have looked at her and told her about Jesus, but my pride blinded me, and all I could see was me.

Pride blinds us from seeing people and caring about their needs, and none of us are immune to it. Every so often, it’s good for me to take inventory of the things I do without even noticing, so that God can transform the hidden places of my heart. Even if being a snob is common, I don’t have to be one.

The irony of the bag incident is that later I returned to the store for plastic grocery bags! If you ever see a woman quadruple bagging her cereal box you might want to pray for her. She could be a recovering common snob just like me.

All God’s blessings are possible through Jesus! Hope you will receive them this week!