Since God seems to keep directing me to passages that deal with pride, arrogance and selfishness, I decided this was no mistake and that I had better take heed. None of us want to think that these three words could possibly apply to us, but if that were true, why would God include so very many passages, warnings and characters for us to read and teach about? He wouldn’t, He knows our tendencies toward self, that though we are a new creation, we remain pulled toward that fleshly nature. So, now that we are aware of this particular pitfall, what do we do about it, how can we fight against it? I believe that in order to try to keep these three works of the flesh at bay, I must first understand the definition of each word.
Pride, defined, is a high or inordinate opinion of one’s own dignity, importance, superiority. Well, that’s not me, I often question my own abilities, see myself as insignificant and certainly not any better than anyone else. Really? In a conversation, where the one speaking is spouting off all they do for the Lord, number of times they have read through the Bible, the years they have spent in furthering their education, etc, etc, etc, have I just smiled and listened, or have I become irritated and annoyed, not wanting to be rude, but wishing they would stop, so that I might begin spouting off my own list of accomplishments? Certainly that’s not pride, that’s just stating facts, right?
Let’s go to the next word, arrogance, it’s very pronunciation seems harsh. It is defined as an offensive display of superiority or self importance, overbearing pride. Ummmm, have I been guilty of arrogance? Perhaps, not openly or intentionally, but what about my thoughts that no one else can do my job, at least not the way I do it? Besides, I have a certain way that I like things done, because, after all, they have proven effective and if not done my way, I’ll probably just have to redo it. That’s not really arrogance, I see it as confidence.
Lastly the word selfishness, defined as devoted to or caring only for oneself, concerned primarily with one’s own interests, benefits, welfare, regardless of others. OK, I think I might be able to skip this one, I sincerely try to put others before me, so that makes me unselfish, right? Not really, selfishness isn’t just the act, but it’s also the thought, what’s in the heart that doesn’t come out the mouth. Those resentments that cause us inconveniences to our well planned day, going out of our way to pick up a prescription, a notebook, groceries for someone who either forgot or wasn’t able to do so. Or what about giving up several hours of my Saturday to go to prayer meeting, a baby shower or visiting a shut in? This isn’t really being selfish, it’s just wanting to have some time for myself, there’s surely nothing wrong with that.
Now that I’m totally under conviction, I guess my next step is for me to ask God to reveal my “unintentional” pride, arrogance and selfishness and when He does, to be ever aware of it’s potential harm, knowing also that “Greater is He that is in me, than he who is in the world”. Quite frankly, I don’t like seeing my own faults pointed out n the Scriptures, but unless I do, how can I possibly become more like Him?