Arrogance

Statue - man with scrollAn air of superiority over others, overbearing; condescending

Arrogance diminishes wisdom. Arabian Proverb

The truest characters of ignorance are vanity, and pride and arrogance. Samuel Butler. 

Those that are arrogant have missed out on the great virtue of humility. Randall Burkhalter

   Most of us despise arrogance. It turns us off. Our culture is increasingly based on equality. No one is supposed to think or act as if they are better or superior to anyone else. It is taboo.

   We cannot prevent others from being arrogant. We can prevent ourselves from having this undesirable attitude. Arrogant people believe they are superior. Who are we to assume we are better than anyone else? What is our basis of comparison; whose standards are used? The question becomes “better at what”? Typically, arrogance pertains to wealth, accomplishment, and life style. Does this justify being arrogant?

    What is more important; the things you have or the person you are; the standard of living you enjoy or the good things you do? Are you selfish and self-consuming or engaged in making a better world? As we think about such things, it is important to remember what “arrogance” really is. It is feeling prideful and superior. It is not strength of character, but a glaring weakness. If we are being held accountable then arrogance is detrimental to us. Being a loving, caring, and humble person and doing things for others is infinitely more desirable. Those deserving admiration among us should be the humble and gracious not the arrogant and conceited.  

    We cannot totally avoid those who are arrogant. The really important thing is we avoid arrogance in our own lives. Most of us have it much better than the vast majority of the world’s population. We are truly blessed in many ways. We should never be arrogant in our actions or even in our thought processes. Were things slightly different, we could be in much worse circumstances. As we consider our own individual circumstances and situations, we should be thankful and appreciative, and as a result be “humbly” grateful rather than “arrogant”.

    Most of us are very blessed to be whom we are and where we are in life. Consider the possibilities of all the places we could have been born and the circumstances under we might be living. It is appropriate for us to have feelings of humility and thankfulness because we have been favored. We should not be puffed up with arrogance. If we are to be held accountable for this life; we would be wise to make sure that “displayed arrogance during life” is not checked as a character flaw on our report card.

Challenge:  Be on the alert for arrogant attitudes in your actions and thought processes. It is easy to get caught up thinking you are better than someone else. If and when you find yourself engaging in arrogant actions or thoughts, remember being thankful and grateful is a more appropriate frame of mind. There is always more room at the bottom of the pile than the top. It is easier to fall than rise. Being thankful leaves little room for arrogance.

WisdomThose who refuse to play second fiddle may wind up playing no fiddle at all.  Mason Cooley.

Spiritual: (NIV)

For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and who ever humbles himself will be exalted. Matthew 23:12

Humility and the fear of the Lord bring wealth and honor and life. Proverbs 22:4

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 1 Peter 5:6

The more we think well of ourselves, the more messed up we are. Christ was not an arrogant person, even though he was God incarnate. He exemplified humility. He associated with the poor, downtrodden and the broken in spirit. He loved those around him. He wanted to heal their souls, minds, and bodies rather than looking down on them as being inferior. He despised the arrogant attitudes of those that felt they were superior to others.

Prayer: Help me to live in humility and to avoid any arrogance in my life.

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