I’m a coffee snob. When it comes to coffee it should be properly ground black coffee – no sugar.

Maybe it’s your favourite brand of clothing or the shoes you wear? How about the supermarket you select, the style of music you listen to on that one specific brand of headphones, your watch and phone? And, how about the school your children go to, the neighbourhood you live in, the way you speak, the sport you choose, the church you go to and how you wear your hair?

These are all individual choices, but when do our unique preferences become snobbery and is it ever okay to be a snob?

The Urban Dictionary defines a “snob” as: Anyone who thinks they are better than someone else based upon superficial factors.

The Free Dictionary gives the meaning of the word as: One who despises, ignores, or is patronizing to those he or she considers inferior. Or, one who is convinced of his or her superiority in matters of taste or intellect.

These definitions of the word “snob” certainly don’t leave me wanting the label – even if it is just a “coffee snob”.

I felt sure that the meaning of the word had changed somewhat, with many taking pride in light-heartedly referring to themselves as a “snob” of some or other product or behaviour. In the last few days however, I’ve heard it used in the more negative context.

Someone on Facebook made reference to people who seem to consider themselves better than others because of what they do, how much they earn, where they live and how they look – she went on to say she didn’t have time for “snobs”.

Then, a presenter on the radio asked whether the Europeans were being snobbish about the seemingly loud and brash American spectators at last weekend’s Ryder Cup? He went on to make reference to the many loud and brash spectators at European sporting events.

And finally, the British Prime Minister, Theresa May, this week voiced her disdain for snobbishness among the political elite.

I’m reminded of something the Apostle Paul wrote in the Bible in Romans 12:3 Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us”. He went on to say “Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves” (Philippians 2:3).

Steer clear of snobbishness by:

  • Being grateful for who and what you have in your life
  • Humbly recognising that we are all human with a unique story
  • Acknowledging that everyone is entitled to their own likes and dislikes
  • Appreciating and listening to the opinions of others
  • Being ready to learn from others, no matter who they are – remaining teachable
  • Being open to the possibility that you may be wrong

I love great coffee, but I’m not gonna be a snob about it.