Arrogance, or pride, is another of those hard to pin down topics when it comes to His word. Simply put, we are not to be arrogant, or proud as stated in I Corinthians 13:5·
But wait, aren't we to take pride in all that we do?
· Shouldn't we be proud of our love for our spouse and others?
· Shouldn't we be proud of our child for standing up for what is right, even when it isn't easy?
· Shouldn't we be proud to stand up for our writing, our country, our faith?
The more I researched this, the more challenging this became. Proverbs 11:2 say, "When pride comes, then comes disgrace; but with the humble is wisdom." Hmmm. That's not quite what I wanted to find. Encouraging, but still… And I went on to find Proverbs "Everyone who is arrogant is an abomination to the Lord, be assured, he will not go unpunished." Nope, that's pretty clear. No room for pride. Not to be discouraged, I kept looking (see my blog on perseverance at Crafty Ladies of Suspense if you wonder why I didn't stop with these two verses.) I went on to look for more support for the above points that surely God didn't mean we shouldn't be proud of our work and our efforts. The main point I found over and again is simply worded in Romans 12:3, "For by the grace given to me I bid every one among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think…." I would encourage each of us to read the rest of Romans 12. Sure, go ahead, read the full chapter, it won't take long. After reading further, "For as in one body we have many members, and all the members do not have the same function." It's starting to sink in now. Pride is an earthly emotion which brings focus on ourselves. God has given each of us gifts which we are to use to bring Him glory. Short of that, pride and arrogance has no place in our lives. We're no better, no worse than the person standing next to us at any given moment. Our plan is not always HIS plan. We are simply doing God's work, and in that, we should be pleased. 2 Corinthians 10:13 says "But we will not boast beyond limit, but will keep to the limits God has apportioned us, to reach even to you." God DOES want us to do our best, and be proud of the work we do… in His name. God's love cannot focus on one's self, but must be open to the others. God's glory IS the limit.
It isn't an easy concept to wrap one's head around early on a Friday morning. (I started this search Thursday night, and hoped it might have a better slant after a good night of sleep.) It isn't easy to go out into the workplace and say "I only did my job for God." I wonder what my days, my decisions will be like if I can indeed keep my focus on the idea that THIS is what God wants me doing at this moment, on this day, in this blip of Eternity? Just imagine how eliminating pride and arrogance could change our world. I think refocusing on that important distinction between our earthly pride (focused on our human achievements) and Godly satisfaction (following through on God's plan for each of us), my purpose and attitude will change. What do you think?