Arrogant: Who, Me ?

Do you think you are humble? Have you overcome pride? If your answer is positive, then you are arrogant and proud! Only those who continue to be aware of pride in their lives have any hope of being humble. Those who think they have achieved humility have missed it by a mile.

“But pride is a small sin in comparison to murder, adultery and addictions.”  Well, that’s what most people think. But pride is the worst of all sins and lies at the root of all other sins. It prevents the sinner from seeking God’s grace and forgiveness (Psalm 10:4). It spoils our relationships (Proverbs 13:10), and stops us from learning anything (1Timothy 6:4). Pride was behind the fall of Satan (Isaiah 14:12-14), and pride was part of the equation that led to Eve eating the forbidden fruit (1John 2:16). Pride caused Cain to slay Abel and pride prevented the Jews from recognizing their Messiah.

We cannot begin to understand how destructive pride is to every aspect of our life. And we do not comprehend how it infiltrates every area of our emotions, thoughts and actions. Pride is not a minor flaw of our personalities – it is the most evil and most pervasive of all sins.

We need to see how God views pride if we are to understand how serious it is. James 4:6 and 1Peter 5:5 both say: “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.” These verses do not qualify the statement by saying that God resists the unbeliever who is proud. God resists all who are proud – believer and unbeliever alike. Romans 8:31 says that “If God is for us, who can be against us?” But the reverse of this verse is too awful to contemplate: If God is against us, who can help us? And God is against the proud. So who will help or defend them. God says: “The one who has a haughty look and a proud heart, Him I will not endure” (Psalm 101:5). This is not a minor “problem” this is the worst of all sins and must be eradicated from our hearts.

The Tempter has always been very good at rebranding and repackaging sin in more acceptable guises. Thus pride has been renamed as self-assurance, self-worth, self-esteem, good self-image, self-confidence, assertiveness, coolness and so on. But it is all the same old ugly sin of pride. (Any word that has self in it is simply another word for pride.) Churches have been so deceived that many are preaching that pride is a good and acceptable quality and that Christians should be confident and have a good self-image. This is not the message of the Lord, but the message of the Devil who seeks to bring everyone under the same condemnation that he is under (1Timothy 3:6). Already in the Old Testament Malachi spoke of those who camouflage this sin as a positive quality when he said: “So now we call the proud blessed” (Malachi 3:15).

Solomon says that there are six things that God hates, and seven that are an abomination to Him. The first of these is “a proud look” (Proverbs 6:17). Proverbs 16:5 says: “Everyone proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord” Pride is so serious that it is listed along with all the other filthy sins as evidence of a reprobate mind (Romans 1:30, 2Timothy 3:2).

Just as the law of gravity determines that what goes up must come down, God’s laws determine that all who are proud will be brought low and will be humbled. There are literally dozens of scriptures in both the Old and New Testament that explain that pride will always lead to humiliation and a fall. “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. Better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly, Than to divide the spoil with the proud.” (Proverbs 16:18-19). “A man's pride will bring him low (Proverbs 29:23).

Many modern churches are more concerned with growing their numbers than preaching truth. Thus their preachers continue to build people up in their boastful arrogance since that makes people feel good and brings them back to the church. Preaching messages that reveal the sin of pride, self-achievement and arrogance are unpopular and therefore are seldom preached. That is why many modern Christians are deluded into believing that God is happy with their arrogance and why few seek true humility.

To aggravate this problem, most preachers swagger about in their egotistical conceit, filled with their own self-importance. Thus they set an example which the believers falsely assume to be signs of greatness! Personally, I have no interest in meeting ministers and pastors since I mostly come away from such meetings disgusted by these displays of self-importance and arrogance. Even when the preacher is not preaching, it takes a few minutes of observation to figure out who the pastor is. How can we identify him? By the self assertive way he handles himself and by the way people kowtow to him. This is certainly not the example Jesus set and has more in common with the attitude of Lucifer than of Jesus. May the Lord have mercy on His church!

One of the delusions that flow from pride is that we think we can hide it under a cloak of false humility. But like the elephant hiding in the strawberry patch, pride cannot be hidden. It is always glaringly evident no matter how humble and meek we try to act. For some reason humility is the hardest thing to counterfeit. The falseness of fake humility is always glaring as pride shows through the veneer of servanthood. When an arrogant person tries to act humble he looks like a 300 pound man trying to wear a toddler’s clothes – it just does not fit.

The message of the Bible is one of brokenness, humility and meekness. The very foundation of the Kingdom of Heaven is “Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:3-5). Jesus said: “Learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart (Matthew 11:29). Only the humble receive grace (James 4:6 and 1Peter 5:5). David got it right when he said: “A broken and a contrite heart – These, O God, You will not despise.” (Psalm 51:17).

The blinding effect of pride is probably most evident in your life by the fact that as you read this, you are thinking of how it applies to other people you know. Be honest now. Have you read these paragraphs and felt instant conviction? There is hope for you. Have you read these paragraphs and immediately thought that it applies to others more than to yourself? If so, you are in serious trouble and you don’t even know it!