Yes, we have such tendency, and so we have to be wary of it. We are reminded of this fact of life when after Christ told his apostles about his impending suffering, death and resurrection, the apostles were caught simply discussing about who the greatest among them was. (cfr. Mk 9,30-37)
That’s when he told them, “If anyone wishes to be first, he shall be the last of all and the servant of all.” And taking a child, he told them, “Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me.” This is how we can counter our tendency to be impertinent.
If we truly want to be an authentic Christian, and not just Christian by name, we have to realize that we somehow cannot avoid the same fate that Christ had, that is, we are also meant to suffer and die not only for our sins but also for the sins of the others, and that in our heart of hearts, like Christ, our desire is to serve and not to be served, and that we should be as simple as a child whose heart is always open to the things of God.
We all need to be reminded that all our suffering has a positive and favorable aspect. It’s not all entirely bad and negative, though in itself it will always be bad. But if viewed and lived through our Christian faith, that is, with Christ, there is something in it that can give us a greater good.
Our pains and suffering are always the result of sin, ours and those of the others. They are the necessary consequence of our separation, whether temporary or permanent, from God from whom all good things come. (cfr. Ps 16,2; James 1,17) We may not be the direct cause of our own suffering, but in this world, we cannot escape the effects of sin, and so we must be ready for them just the same.
We just have to remind ourselves that we are not meant to suffer. Our original as well as our ideal definitive state in heaven excludes suffering. Our first parents, Adam and Eve, were in the state of original justice, where everything was in order and in harmony. No pain and suffering touched them, until they fell into sin.
Also, we have to realize that like Christ, we should have the attitude of wanting to serve and not to be served, to do a lot of good while passing unnoticed, looking always for the last place in any situation.
This is what love is all about, love in its most distilled form. It goes beyond merely wishing others well, or giving something and sharing things. This is love in action, in total self-giving even if nothing can be gained by doing so.
Besides, it is a love done in total obedience and availability to his loved ones. For love is true when done both at the instance of the loved ones and of one’s own personal gratuitous initiative.
We have to do everything to acquire, develop and enrich this attitude in ourselves and among ourselves, inspiring and inculcating it in others as much as we can, for it is what truly proper of us all.
With God’s grace, we have to exert effort to overcome the understandable awkwardness and tension involved in blending the natural and the supernatural aspects of this affair, as well as the expected resistance we can give, due to the effects of our sins.
This attitude will restrain our tendency to be impertinent!*