How many of you have used the word, magnanimity, in a sentence in the last year? the last 5 years? ever? If you have not used in a sentence you probably do not know what it means? It’s a beautiful word. Though I have not used it ever, I saw it and I knew what it was on TV recently. The actor Martin Short was a magnanimous person!
Magnanimity means: loftiness of spirit enabling one to bear trouble calmly, to disdain meanness and revenge, and to make sacrifices for worthy ends. That’s the official definition. It means to be big. It means to rise above the situation. It takes a very special individual to be magnanimous.
Paul speaks of magnanimity. In 1 Corinthians 6 Paul talks about brothers going to court against brothers. Sad situation. Paul says it was going on in Corinth to their shame. Then he raises a magnanimous question: Why not rather suffer wrong instead of taking a brother to court? In the name of peace… in the name of unity… in the name of how a situation affects the church… why not rather suffer wrong? We are not magnanimous. We know our rights! We want revenge!
Martin Short was on the Today Show being interviewed – live – by Kathy Lee Gifford. Martin Short is one of the few Hollywood types that had a long and rewarding marriage. He was married to his wife, Nancy Dolman, for 30 years before she passed away with breast cancer in 2010. Kathy knew of his marvelous marriage. She was unaware that his wife had passed away. In the interview she talked of his marriage and wonderful wife asking questions as if she were alive. Martin went along with it. He answered her as if his wife was alive and everything was wonderful. He didn’t say, My wife is dead, stupid. How can you be so insensitive. When asked later about the awkward moment, he had only kind words for Kathy Lee Gifford. A magnanimous job, Martin.
Ok, I don’t use the word in sentences every day. BUT, I know it when I see it. Magnanimous people are beautiful people in the eyes of God.