Christian Arrogance is the Enemy of Christ’s Purpose
Even as a Christian, arrogance and pride are no strangers to me. Like any sin that slowly robs us of our spirituality, I have seen my own pride steal precious time away that I could have shared with my heavenly Father. I spent much of my life worried about the opinions of others. Trying to be someone I wanted to appear as instead of the person God made me. Even as a young Christian, I viewed my faith in a prideful way, more concerned with impressions than developing a strong connection with Christ. God drastically changed that for me with one simple prayer. A prayer that would show me how God can favor and love the humble. Christian arrogance robs the church and takes from God what is His. But how? What is arrogance in the Bible? Why does God favor and love the humble? And what kind of prayer did I pray for God to save me from myself?
A Battle from the Beginning
The greatest enemy of man was warped by arrogance and self-righteousness. Lucifer was the most powerful of archangels but fell from grace because he saw himself as more than God, leading to betrayal. His arrogance divided the heavens and changed the course of how humans would exist with one simple temptation. So, it’s understandable why God seeks out the humble and opposes the proud. Satan had everything and lost it all through pride and arrogance.
Now, Satan serves his own glory through the suffering of mankind. He acts as the greatest example of how seeking our own wants and needs above all others will descend into an immoral life. Only through faith, love, and humility can you seek God.
James 4:6 But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”
How can a Christian be arrogant? We actually witness it every day toward fellow Christians and non-believers alike. It is a driving force behind many leaving the faith or not considering Christianity in the first place. We are seeing entire churches building their belief system on the fact that they are the only way to God and all other churches are incapable of salvation.
We have modern day Pharisees, quoting scripture on love and compassion while alienating and condemning. They know the words on the page but are too consumed with their own pride to understand the true meaning. Arrogance is a plague that corrupts the appearance of church into something it most definitely is not. Humility, compassion, love, joy, selflessness, acceptance, giving… Arrogance has no place among these character traits.
Proverbs 26:12 Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.
Look to God’s Character for Our Path
Humility is the calling card of Christians, at least it should be. If we look at the life of Jesus on earth, we don’t see a sultan or king, but a humble son of a carpenter. Born in a manger, He walked His path without possessions or knowledge of where His next meal would come from; He lived full of faith in His father and portrayed perfect humility.
Ephesians 4:2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.
If you want to be used by God, humble yourself before Him. God has proven time and time again that He will fight on the side of the underdog. Whether a young boy against a giant, a man in a den of lions, or a few lowly fishermen. God wants your faith more than your talents.
James 4:10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.
Do you lean on knowledge or wisdom?
Knowledge does not equal salvation. Regurgitating scripture does not grant sanctification. Judging others does not glorify our Creator. We serve a humble God; it is His values that we base all of our aspirations on as Christians. For God, humility comes naturally; it’s His character. Love, compassion, joy, wisdom, are all things that didn’t need to be invented. They have always been a part of God.
Look to God, not yourself for the answers. You can have a wall full of diplomas in theology and have read every word of the Bible, but if you are arrogant, it proves you missed the entire message. There is a big difference in studying the Bible and living it. The Bible is not the object of our faith, it is the instruction manual; God is our example and our focus. Knowledge is a blessing we should strive for, but it can easily fade over time; however, building a personal relationship with God, comprehending and living by the scripture will serve you for a lifetime.
Proverbs 11:2 When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.
Luke 14:11 For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
That’s a wrap on Christian Arrogance
My struggle was real and as a human being, arrogance will always be knocking at the door and whispering in my ear. But I know who the father of arrogance is, and he is not my father. When I came to this realization, I dropped to my knees, and I prayed to God to take arrogance out of my heart and to help me every day to stay away from a prideful mindset, no matter what that meant. If it means my own humiliation from time to time, that was better than drifting away from my Savior. I admitted to my Father in prayer that I am nothing without Him, and my accomplishments are nothing short of His blessing on my life. The glory belongs to Him.
Since that day, I have lived my life by what my wife dubbed a true, “even Steven.” I never seem to be able to stand on top of the mountain too long before I slip and fall. If I feel prideful for a split moment, I am reminded of humility with the same swiftness; and I have never been happier. Even now, I still pray for humility. Every day may God remind me that He is everything and that no earthly accomplishment is greater than my relationship with Him.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
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