February 22, 2010

Unintentional Arrogance

Written by Boyd Bailey

Unintentional Arrogance… “But when his heart became arrogant and hardened with pride, he was deposed from his royal throne and stripped of his glory.” Daniel 5:20

Do you know anyone whose life ambition is to become arrogant? Probably not! Arrogance is like greed; it is easily seen in others, but rarely seen in the mirror. It seeps its way into a man or woman’s soul with the disguise of good ambition and healthy confidence. But power and problems expose it like gasoline on dormant embers. Left unchecked arrogance implodes into a downward spiral of ruin. Its outcomes are ugly.

Arrogance is indiscriminate in it influence of individuals. Fathers-mothers, husbands-wives, leaders-followers, brothers-sisters, parents-children, pastors-laymen and entrepreneurs-institutions are all candidates for its crippling curse. The Lord is clear, as He is against the attitude and actions of the arrogant. And it’s not good to be against God.

“See, I am against you, O arrogant one,” declares the Lord, the LORD Almighty, “for your day has come, the time for you to be punished” (Jeremiah 50:31).

What incubates arrogance? Where does it come from? Like kudzu it takes over quickly and hangs on insidiously. It dwells deep within the heart of extremely competent and confident people. Success feeds arrogance as you begin to believe you are the reason for your achievements, instead of Almighty God. There is an unholy hubris (excessive pride) that takes hold of the heart. It whispers thoughts like–you are indispensible–you are right and others are to blame–you are superior because of your intellect and your net worth.

It is this bulletproof belief in oneself that requires large doses of humility and teachability to keep us keen on instilling integrity and character into our language and life. Families, churches, businesses, universities, politicians, athletes and individuals can guard against arrogance with gratitude and generosity. Gratitude to God gives Him the glory, and generosity frees us to not control, but to share the fruits of success with others.

“Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment” (1 Timothy 6:17).

Am I drifting toward arrogance? Am I fully aware of my weaknesses and blind spots?

Related Readings: Isaiah 2:11; Zephaniah 3:4; 1 Corinthians 4:18-19; 2 Peter 2:11

Transformational Living
What did I learn from the Lord in today’s Bible reading? How will I respond?

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