I am so arrogant – time to deal with it
James 3:13: Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.
I was chatting to a close pastor friend the other day, sharing with him about what is happening with this blog, well I say sharing actually I was showing off. I shared about the large number of people who had subscribed recently and with a half smile on his face, which indicates he is about to teach me a lesson, he stated that though he didn’t have that massive number at his church this past Sunday it was all the same an awesome time of coming into God’s presence… owch. I have numerous weaknesses and one that I am really working hard on is arrogance. Look at me I am wonderful! Oh dear really Mark?
Self confidence is one of my strengths, it gets me involved in projects and roles that most would give up as impossible, and for this reason it is a good thing when well directed.
And this passage speaks directly to my weakness of being arrogant, my interest in letting others know just what I am capable of. And this is what this 2010 Constantly Seeking God Challenge is all about: changing, becoming more of what God intends me to be, to more reflect the nature of God. And the constant part is really key. It is so easy to let the Bible reading, the prayer and confession slip, staying focused, remaining constant on this path is key!! A gradual change is on the cards – wonderful!
When James states, ‘Let him show it by his good life’ this is a challenge directly for me, to live that good life. The greek behind good is kalos which is beautiful, useful, honourable, distinguished, worthy and full measure. In other words I am called to live an amazing life that is full of excitement and achievement! But wait, isn’t that the sort of life that my arrogant self just loves?
This is where humility has a massive role, which actually means to be gentle and kind. And being gentle and kind is how I relate to others and to God. It speaks of taking the time to understand someone, to see their strengths, to appreciate them as a creation of God. When we are gentle and kind with a child we are attentive to their needs, careful to cater for them in a way that is life giving. Being gentle and kind to others is about taking the time to understand those around me.
And in relating to God, it is about fully appreciating the awesomeness of the Creator!
So I can have a life full of success and excitement, but I need to understand clearly that it isn’t because of me that all this is happening, but due to the amazing people around me, and most importantly, it is due to God acting through me and around me.
And where does this humility, this gentleness and kindness come from? James shares that it comes from wisdom. Which is something learnt and discovered, in other words it isn’t natural, well certainly not for me! I absolutely need to learn it and through this reading I have been reminded of the importance of countering my arrogance by remembering how awesome God is, and how awesome the people I work along side are.
All glory to God!
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Also I have set up a place on my FB page where your can discuss, make observations and ask questions about this reading. Check it out by clicking here. (Thanks to Chelsea Cervantes for the inspiration to do this!)