Wednesday’s Word of the Day: Abased

17 08 2011

Continuing with my new series, today’s word is abased.  A basic definition is to be humbled, but it is also used in the sense of person being lowered in rank, demoted, or in office.

I often think of words and try to guess their origins.  Originally, I thought abased was a combination of a– meaning to the and base– meaning bottom or low.  As it turns out, I was half correct, the base is from the latin bassus meaning lower, but the a is from ad meaning bring.

Therefore to be brought low is to be abased.  Very often, this is what happens to people who think more highly of themselves than they ought.  I should say that this is what happens to me, very often, more than I would like to admit.  I started a new position at a job in which I was an assistant to the supervisor (very much like Dwight Schrute’s position of assistant to the regional manager).  Unfortunately, I acted way too much like Dwight at times.  I tried to join the supervisor in leading the meeting, “Oh, you want me to wait with the rest of the team.”  (in my head, “oops, I did it again.”)

I wish I could say that I learned my lesson then, but I am still learning what it means “to choose the lowest seat” at the wedding feast.  In this parable from book of Luke, Jesus instructs the guests who are choosing the places of honor at a wedding feast, to choose the lowest seats.  If they choose the places of honor, the host may invited guests more distinguished than themselves, and in an awkward scenario the host would have to ask them to leave their seats for the more important person.

How I wish to maintain this mindset.  Have you ever had to be “brought low”?  Or maybe unlike me, when have you chosen to lower place and then been honored.  What other verses about humility stick out in your memories?  Please share your thoughts in a comment below.

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4 responses

17 08 2011
Alexander Strickland

Thank you Greg for such a great post!
I find that being humble is one of the hardest, yet most important aspects of life. The verse that sticks out in my mind is this one, and I desire to live by it:
“Likewise, you younger men, be subject to the elders. And all of you clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because
God resists the proud,
but gives grace to the humble.
Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, so that He may exalt you in do time, casting all your care on Him, because He cares about you.” (1 Peter 5:5-7, HCSB 1st Ed)

17 08 2011
Greg Poppy

Alex, one of my favorite verses is another one that quotes that verse out of Proverbs 3 which is James5:5-7 5 Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us? 6 But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” 7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

17 08 2011
Jennifer Poppy

That’s one of the qualities I love most about you: humility 🙂

17 08 2011
Greg Poppy

Thank you honey! I love your gentleness the most.

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