Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Arrogance

arrogance [ar-uh-guhns]  –noun
offensive display of superiority or self-importance; overbearing pride


Arrogance makes me sad.  When I hear or see quiet or deliberate displays of arrogance, my mind immediately quotes the psalmist:


"When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, 
what is man that you are mindful of him" (Psalm 8)


I also think of God's answer to Job:


"Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?
   Tell me, if you have understanding.
Who determined its measurements—surely you know!
   Or who stretched the line upon it?
On what were its bases sunk,
   or who laid its cornerstone,
when the morning stars  sang together
   and all the sons of God shouted for joy?" (Job 38)



This chapter is very sobering.  It also makes me love God more.  He is GOD.  
Who Am I?  I am nothing, yet He created me and knows my name...and even loves me.  There is a song that reflects these humbling thoughts.  The lyrics are,

"Over time You've healed so much in me and I am living proof

That although my darkest hour had come
Your light could still shine through
Though at times it's just enough to cast a shadow on the wall
Well I am grateful that You shine a light on me at all

Who am I that You would love me so gently?
Who am I that You would recognize my name?
Lord, who am I that You would speak to me so softly?
Conversation with the love most high, who am I?"

Paul says, "This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief ."—I Tim. 1:15.


The problem today is that people do not choose to recognize sin unless it is an extreme evil or a "socially acceptable evil".  Even in these cases, many try to blame their actions on "insanity", "mental illness", their poor childhood, their financial ruin, and anything else that can exonerate them.  Few accept responsibility for their actions because they do not consider them wrong in the first place.  


One thing I have noticed growing more prevalent today is how people feel entitled to everything.  There is such a sense of selfishness in the world.  It causes people to elevate themselves above anyone that doesn't agree with them.  Many times Christians are the ones who are singled out as having this "issue".  People say that Christians think that everyone who disagrees with them is wrong.  If others do not agree that the Bible is the True, inerrant Word of God, they bash Christians who do.  Not all Christians are saying that other people need to agree with them, but are saying that others should agree with God's Word.  Another argument is that the Bible is open to individual interpretation.  I disagree.  The Bible clearly states,

“The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.  For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him?  In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.  We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us.  This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words.  The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.” 1 Corinthians 2:10-14.  There is no understanding apart from the Holy Spirit! 

“To God, who alone is wise, be the glory forever through Jesus Christ.”
Romans 16:27.   
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” --Proverbs 9:10.  
“The fear of the Lord teaches a man wisdom, and humility comes before honor.”
Proverbs 15:33.   
“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.” Psalms 32:8.  
 “I am the Lord your God, who teaches what is best for you, who directs you in the way
you should go.” ---Isaiah 48:17. 

Sadly, when God's Word does not line up with what certain people believe, then the Bible simply becomes any other book in their minds----not Truth.  So if the Word of God is not TRUTH, then where is Truth?  From what source does one measure decisions and beliefs?  You will most likely find them measuring "truth" according to their own beliefs and thoughts.  I find that scary and arrogant.  


Today I have been overwhelmed and burdened by this.  The arrogance and self-centeredness of society causes me to wonder how bad things are going to get in the future.  We were never promised an easy road---a road without bumps and opposition.  I believe the opposition to our God and His Word are on the rise. Are we ready to defend the Word and uphold the Truth?  


Someone said recently that Truth, Goodness and Beauty were once believed to be objective and measurable.  They are measured by God's standards.  Beauty was the first to go, Goodness followed, and now "truth" has become relative and all three are now very subjective in the eyes and minds of mainstream society.


I have peace and confidence knowing that I have something by which to measure my decisions and choices.  I have God's Word---TRUTH.  I have God's Word and standards--Beauty.  I have God, Himself---Goodness.  I don't want the responsibility of defining Truth.  It has already been done for me.  I would fail miserably because I am a sinful human being.  


Our sinfulness causes arrogance.  The further away we are from God and Truth, the more arrogant we become.  Arrogance doesn't always perform loudly....sometimes quiet arrogance is just as bad.  Cynicism is also running wild today and is a direct result of people not believing in Truth as God defines it.


It is my prayer that people will stop searching the internet for any "source" that backs up their own beliefs--beliefs that change as quickly as the direction the wind blows. 


As my pastor quotes weekly, "The grass withers and the flowers fall,

but the word of our God endures forever." (Isaiah 40:8)

1 comment:

lellielieb said...

Amen. I have been thinking some of these same thought in the last 24 hours.