Definition of Arrogance: having or revealing an exaggerated sense of one’s own importance or abilities.
Maybe we think people should follow our ways and our example.
Or we think we have become the standard in which everyone should look to.
Or maybe we have become proud of our own righteousness.
Maybe we have given ourselves permission to decide what’s good enough, and what’s not.
Our efforts have turned into trying to pull people up to our way of life, rather than getting lower and encouraging them to be all that GOD created them to be.
One sure sign that I’ve become arrogant is when I start thinking that people should do things the way I’m doing them. I think it’s a noble cause. It can disguise itself as changing culture, or begin an example, or even the “holy” lifestyle.
It’s interesting to think that maybe we have created a culture where our words have trumped the words and the lifestyle of Jesus.
I have found my arrogance in the fact that people will read my books and my blog. For so long I thought of it as my platform and a place for me to push MY system on to others. When in fact we should be using our platform to point people to JESUS!
I think we all want to help people, we all want to answer the call to the great commission. We want to share the gospel of Jesus Christ, and we want to give our time and use our spiritual gifts. I think arrogance can start from a good place. It can start with a good heart, one that just wants to serve Jesus. But it can go south pretty quickly when we have decided in our heart and mind that our way, and the beliefs we have, should be the ultimate end-all-be-all.
The truth is, The Bible is the end-all-be-all.
“Believers in humble circumstances ought to take pride in their high position. But the rich should take pride in their humiliation—since they will pass away like a wild flower.” – James 1:9-10
So often I would say “Thank you God for my blessings.” But lately my heart is humbled by the blessings God has given me. No matter what our position in life is, we should always remember our position in the Kingdom of God. A rise to the top in the world’s standards is a quick decent in the Kingdom of God. It truly should humble us because what we have to say is nothing compared to what The Bible has to say.
The truth is we are God’s humble servants.
The truth is if we lead people to us we will always disappoint them. People need Jesus, not us.
Our goal should never be to have people follow us, but it should always be to offer bits and pieces of God’s word, and His truth, that always lead back to Jesus.
Arrogance is truly a timeless struggle, one that even dates back to the disciples arguing over who is the greatest among the twelve. We can become so proud of the things we have accomplished that we place a certain amount of importance upon ourself that is truly unmerited, and brings contempt to everyone else that just wants to serve God but does so differently than us.
Our heart needs to learn modesty, and Jesus was so amazing at teaching this. The Son of God never lorded His position over us, He just came to serve, washing the feet of His disciples. I ask myself how many times would I be willing to be that humble, nameless, servant that simply washes people’s feet?
These are questions we need to ask ourselves often, I know I need to ask myself these questions every single day.
If we truly want to change culture, and see a revival, then our heart needs to be bent towards the modesty and humility that Jesus exemplified throughout His time here on earth.
I am more impacted by the people who have deliberately turned away from pride and arrogance, and who have pursued a life of quiet humility. People who have endured through the most horrific things in life and yet don’t have an ounce of bitterness in their heart, they are like angels who have cleared a pathway for me through the most difficult times in my life.
If we want to change culture then we need to be different. We need to understand the world and then we need to do the opposite.
I am not saying I have any authority to write about arrogance, maybe that’s why most of us don’t write about it at all, because I think we all struggle with it deep within our heart. I think we are all looking around to see how in the world are we suppose to live a life free from pride and arrogance when so many people are willing to worship us, and our righteous lives, instead of worship Jesus.
I wonder how many authors we love don’t ever share with us their REAL name? How many of them are willing to just share their words anonymously without ever gaining any credit?
I remember reading how Oswald Chambers wasn’t famous while he was alive. Some of us may assume that is a real shame, but I see it as a real blessing because he was obedient to God, and now He is enjoying those treasures in heaven that he never enjoyed here on earth.
We all have a message that we want people to hear. It is a message we desire to share, and technology today has made it possible for us to do all of this and more!
What a shame.
We have so much and yet we use it only to shine a spotlight on us instead of Jesus. We have such a great opportunity to share the love of Jesus and to be servants, but we use it to build up our own kingdom.
What would it take to walk away from all of that?
What did it take for Jesus to walk away from His position in heaven so that He could be an example here on earth?
I think God gives us opportunities to experience this every single day. It is truly a matter as to whether or not we are ready to embrace them, or if we simply decide to walk away from them.
For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. – Romans 12:3
Does this mean stop what you are doing to fulfill the great commission? No, of course it doesn’t.
But I do know that I need to remember my position in God’s kingdom, and it’s NOT savior and nor is it god. I need to remember that I am a humble servant who needs to decrease so that HE may increase.
We need to break our arrogance.
No matter what Christmas was for us in the past, it seems like every year it has the opportunity, and the possibility, to be something completely different and brand new. That’s what Jesus brought with Him as He was born into this world; He brought with Him a clean slate, a fresh start, and something brand new to our lives and to our faith.
Today I invite you to come and take this imperfect advent journey with me to discover the beauty of the good and perfect gifts God has given us through His Son Jesus. Let us journey together to discover what those gifts are, how we can receive those gifts, and most importantly the importance of being a good steward of those gifts.