Great names. Bad dudes. They were the sons of the wonderful man of God, Eli. Everyone loved Eli. He was a blessing to all. No one loved Hophni and Phineas. They were a blessing to no one. Their dad lived an others-centered life. These two brothers lived a self-centered life. Dad used his position to serve the people. The brothers used their position to force the people to serve them. As we read the story, in the 1 Sam. 2-4 it is easy to write Hophni and Phineas off as “the bad guys.” And in part, it is right to do so, for they were bad guys. Yet we mustn’t blow past the warning their villainy provides for us. In spite of a Godly lineage, it only took a few poor choices to send them down a road they never recovered from. Not because of God’s lack of grace. No, rather, because the self-centered life was too appealing for them to embrace God’s grace to change. And my goodness, it cost them in the end. What was true for them can be true for us. Living a life of humility and service is the better way.