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I am so arrogant – time to deal with it

January 6, 2010

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!

God bless,

Rev Mark

To become part of the 2010 Constantly Seeking God Challenge or to subscribe to this blog  click here.

PS If you want to leave a comment click on ‘Comments’ below and scroll down.

Yahweh’s Yarn in a Year : 1 year Bible reading plan

The Portion for today: Matthew Chapters 1-2

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!)

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40 Comments
  1. Ian permalink

    Psalm 31:18
    “Let their lying lips be silenced, for with pride and contempt they speak arrogantly against the righteous.”

    Reading this verse make me feel like a victim, but “pride” like arrogance is a key factor to consider when hunility is more in the way of which Jesus preached.

    Psalm 73:3
    “For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.”

    This is another tough verse to consider in our world.

  2. Sister Pam OP permalink

    Wisdom and humility most definitely are a match made in heaven. When something good results from our words and actions, we can be sure that God made that possible. Our part is to listen God’s voice and follow through with the help of Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

    Humility defined as gentleness and kindness follows naturally from our discussion of loving others. When I experience a small kindness, such as a kind person behind the till at the grocery store, it makes my day. It doesn’t take much to be gentle and kind, yet we seem to have such difficulty with it.

    I am grateful that you have the self-confidence to initiate and follow through on this project. I suspect that you are also good at listening to God’s voice and acting on that voice. Thank you.

  3. That too is something I have to work at.I come off as preachy sometimes instead of heart felt advise.Keep it straight my friend.God bless.

  4. Meredith permalink

    Thanks for sharing this, Mark! This is an easy trap for me to fall into as well. I’m looking forward to reading this portion today and continuing in this journey with you. God bless you as you continue to pursue Him!

  5. Davitta permalink

    This is a work in progress. Arrogance and pride are 1st cousins and when it’s identified it turns into so many other things…often time confusion. I too come across as preachy or arrogant instead of confident. Our best dose is to look to God and be slow to speak, and quick to listen….thank you for being used by God to bless us!

  6. Anita permalink

    What a great lesson for today. Such a thin thin line to walk on in doing all things good for those in need whether it be a kind word or tending a project that is large. We must always remember that the ability that comes from our heart for others comes from God and if we take ownership of this ability then it is driven by our pride. “Pride goeth before the fall”. Lord please keep my selfish arrogance at bay so that the love I show reflects God and not me.
    Thank you Mark for another good reflection.

  7. Kathy permalink

    Mark I don’t believe there is anything wrong in sharing what God is doing as lon as you give him the glory.

  8. Kathy permalink

    wow! I just notice it is Thursday where you are. It’s only Wednesday here and I may not be here on Thursday. god may call me home before that. How weird!

  9. having just recently joined this webpage, i am fully enjoying reading the daily inputs and hope it will help me to be a better person. Thank you so very much and may God bless you in your endeavors.

  10. Dear Bro ther Mark,
    Arrogance is indeed a huge temptation for those of us in ministry. I have realized I have a huge need for others to think well of me. It is this realization that keeps me striving to be transparent and real, even admitting my weaknesses to the people to whom I minister. I feel you are doing that as well. Beth Moore said at one of her conferences, “there is only one thing in me that God can’t use and that is my pride.” I try to keep that in mind. I have also found that if I truly seek for God to rid me of my pride, He offers me the opportunity through trials and testing to realize my deep need for Him and the fact that I am nothing without Him. It’s a hard way to learn the lesson, but also a joy to know He continues to work on me in this way.

    Be blessed, and thank you for being such a wonderful blessing. Keep being transparent. Beth Moore also said in he Esther Bible study, “When because of your faith, your life becomes perceptively different; when your reactions are quite the opposite to what the situation seems to call for and your activities can no longer be explained in terms of your personality; that is when your neighborhood will sit up and take notice. In the eyes of the world, it is not our relationship to Jesus that counts, but our resemblance to Him!”

    In Christ,
    Joy Rollins
    transformationministry.net

    • Sister Pam OP permalink

      I like the quote from the Ester Bible study. My husband, son and I have changed so much that people do sit up and take notice. I should not say that we changed, instead, we allowed God to act on us. I have one son who was hurt in the church when he was young who is unwilling to let God get that close to him. It pains me to see his struggle when it is such a small step for him to be happy,

      • Becki permalink

        I will be praying for your son. I to have been hurt in church by a Pastor and his wife. Believe me, it does hurt. I did not attend church for a long long time because of it. I was happy when God kept wooing me back to him. I am now in a church where I am happy and growing once again. I have also learned just because your a pastor, it doesn’t mean you are always right. I was told if I ever left the church I was going to, I would lose God’s blessing, so I stayed out of fear and almost walked totally away. God knows all about our struggles and fears and I’m pretty sure that he will woo your son back. I am happy to pray for him 🙂

  11. Paula Judge permalink

    I have been praying about this very thing in my life too! Thank you for sharing from your heart! I never want God to quit convicting me of sin in my life because it will mean I am not growing in my walk with Him. God bless you, brother!

  12. As you know, Mark, I appreciate your campaign especially its interactive nature which is so inviting, transparent and resilient enough to test and withstand constructive comments (even if negative). God bless you!

    The CHALLENGE: “Constantly Seeking God, Changing, Becoming more of what God intends us to be, to more reflect the Nature of God” is more than a handful (to say the least). There is no way on the strength of just one word “constantly” as the key to meet the ambitious challenge!

    For the record, I present the following TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN that can possibly serve as an informal “Control Group”.

    THE COUNTER-CHALLENGE: the key for such a tall order is Jesus Christ alone in his perfect and transfigurative death on the cross (subject for verification) providing man his/her exclusive POINT OF CHANGE from one “born of the flesh” into another “born of the Spirit” as described and dispensed (John 3: 1-21; 19: 30-37; Col. 2: 2-3; Rev. 5).

    OVER!

  13. God bless Christian friends that help us when we get out of line with God’s will for our lives.

    We need to read the Bible, to Pray and to fellowship with other Christians to keep us strong in our faith.

    Keep moving forward in Jesus’ name!

  14. I really appreciate you creating this challenge Rev Mark. I sit at home sometimes not knowing what to read in my Bible or not reading at home. Now the first thing I do when I get to work is read your email and right down what scriptures to read when I get home. I thank God for what He is having you do.

    Rhonda

  15. Lydia Reyes permalink

    Wow, God is really talking to most of us here. Just, you writing of your downfalls shows how God is transforming our lives. Like you say, it is nice do the work of God and be recognize by it, but it is better that God be recognize working thru you. It’s always good to know that God will exalt the humble and I believe that God is doing a mighty work in you, Mark. We may all, at times feel great about the accomplishment we do for God, but thanks to him , in some way he comes along to help us .[ Like in your case, with your pastor friend ] That is why is so important to have good Christian friends. God works thru all his people and you never know who he will put in your life to do a little correcting. All glory be to God

  16. This is something I needed to hear today. I’m writing a book and I also write poems and when I hear people praise my poems sometimes I get full of myself. If it weren’t for God I wouldn’t have this talent in the first place. I should be praising God and giving him the glory. I believe it is Him speaking through me when I write and I thank Him so much for this talent.

  17. Hey there Rev. Mark, brother in Christ,
    I am surprised to hear that you are arrogant. It seems to me that you are humble and gentle in spirit (traits of the Spirit). Willing to relent from sin comes from being humble. The problem is so often we don’t take the time before God to humble ourselves with setting side for Him. This is a fault of mine…get so focused on so many things even if it FOR God. I desire humility and to offer up a sacrifice to God but I have to make MORE time for Him. I love James 3:13 because the call to wisdom is throughout the bible of how important it is. James shows the result of this wisdom- living for God appropriately.
    Keep up your humble spirit amidst your strong personal traits.
    -Michelle Meyer

  18. tracey permalink

    wow! this is so challenging. thank you Rev Mark. it is very true too much self confidence can actually be arrogance. In my part of the world, self confidence is treasured coz alot of people luck it. I have discovered today that while we desire to be confident we must be mindful not to be arrogant. I have to live my life very mindful of this because alot of times I have surely been arrogant. May God help me.

  19. Ernie permalink

    Dear Christian friends,
    This is the first time I participate in a blog of this kind, so I hope I can convey my thinking and my meditation on the word of God and the comments shared here in a clear manner. Discerning the fine line between self-confidence and arrogance may be a hard task. It has been and continues to be for me. One way I work on redefining this line is by focusing on the following:

    Phillipians 2:6-8 speaks not just of the most genuine manifestation of humility when Jesus being in the very nature of God took the nature of a servant and was made in human likeness. Only when I realize that the self in which I am confident is not my human self, but the divine nature living in me, the spirit of the living God, the one that made me made me be born again and is making me anew (2Corinthians 5:17), as I am being renewed in him(Romans 12:1-2) is when I truly understand where my confidence and needs to be placed. Just as Jesus, the first born, took his place to fulfill the will of the father, trusting him till the very end of his life in the flesh, so can I be confident that my father will never leave me or give me more than I can take or less than he has made me capable of.
    This knowledge comes together with the discernment that this confidence given by God is only because of his presence in me, as it was placed in me for the fulfillment of his purpose in my life and whatever manifestations this purpose may take on daily bases through projects and works, that as Ephesians 7-10 states it are preordained by him.
    I am thank full to Rev. Mark for this word, because I has made me reflect once more how I need to remind this to myself, when I feel weary and/or unappreciated by those I serve and/or love like family members. This shall help me redefine the feelings I may feel at times and instead of anger turn it into appreciation and unending thankfulness to Him who loved me first, so that I can patiently love others, even when they are inconsiderate and even unloving toward me.

    • Sister Pam OP permalink

      Dear Ernie,
      Your last paragraph really turned on the light for me. Yesterday I was feeling weary and unappreciated. That led me to thinking things I should not have thought. It was from pride that my thoughts went in that direction. Your words on this scripture will help me in the future remain humble and thankful.

  20. Shirley permalink

    Mark thank you so much for sharing, especially in this area that is so easy for us to fall into and hard for us to pull out of without surrendering to Christ. I’m so thankful for you and other friends who hold me accountable and help keep my motives in check. This world calls us to build ourselves up and sell ourselves and grow our arrogance, but thanks be to Christ we are not of this world. I look forward to going deeper so I can be all God has created me to be for Him.

  21. Million Thanks for sharing . yes much to learn from this verse and pray theyear 2010 brings each one of us to a new level of spiritual growth

  22. DrJhawk permalink

    Brother Mark, the Lord has allowed me to share a devotional to coworkers and friends during the work week. The following is what the Holy Spirit gave me to share this morning. Our Heavenly Father is continuously trying to get our attention on the right way to live. God bless you for this challenge and sharing His word each day.

    Isaiah 66:1-3NLT This is what the Lord says: “Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. Could you ever build me a temple as good as that? Could you build a dwelling place for me? 2 My hands have made both heaven and earth, and they are mine. I, the Lord, have spoken! “I will bless those who have humble and contrite hearts, who tremble at my word. 3 But those who choose their own ways, delighting in their sins, are cursed.

    Our next step in living victoriously in 2010 is one that plagues us the most…humbling and submitting ourselves to God’s authority and will. Yes we will pray and ask for God’s blessings, deliverance and our wants. We will also praise and thank Him for those blessings. But we either forget, refuse or simply struggle to recognize that God is in control and we are not.

    The Fear of the Lord or our Reverence for Him should keep us with the right perspective of who is in control of our lives. Understanding God’s Holiness and therefore our sinfulness should paint a clear picture that we need to surrender all to Him. I have shared in these devotionals on many occasions that without God, I am absolutely lost without Him. When I take the reins of my life, it is not very long that I run directly into a brick wall. No matter how well I plan the direction of my life, it will ultimately lead me further away from God. Only by God being in control of our lives will we be led to Him.

    Understanding who God is and our relationship to Him comes by reading, studying and meditating on His Holy Word. There is no substitute for this. God’s Word will help us keep into perspective that God doesn’t need us, we need Him. I believe that this is one of the critical spiritual battles that we are engaged in today. Who’s authority do we live by..God’s or our own?

    Prayer, Praise, Thanksgiving and Submitting to God’s Authority. What a powerful combination!

  23. stephanie permalink

    here i go agian trying to spell and understand but i dont believe god cares if i can spell but i know he wants me to understand i am verry arrogant and pridfull this has allways been a struggel for me someone told me one time some time ago that it was becuse i was a leo althogh i do not believe in horascops for the simple reason if i reamember correctly we are not to look into the future …………… THANK YOU GOD FOR UNDERSTANDING WHAT WHEN AND WHERE YOU WANT ME TO UNDERSTAND. THANK YOU REV MARK FOR LOVEING GOD SO MUCH THAT YOU ARE ABEL TO LOVE US AND CARE THAT WE TO CAN FIND ARE WAY. GOD BLESS YOU MARK AND MAY HE CONTINUE TO GIVE YOU WISDOME IN REACHING OUT AND TOUCHING SO MANY LIVES.

  24. Stuart permalink

    Wow it make you think!

    Arrogance is such an easy trap to fall into, epsecially if you are successful! It is awesome though that God is much greater and more powerful, and his gift of grace and mercy is so humbling! The verse in James most certainly describes how we as Christains are meant to live and glorify God!

    Each day i pray that God would humble me and show me more and more of his Glory so i can reflect that to others!

  25. Karen permalink

    Thanks for another awesome article and there is a fine line between being pleased with ourselves and being pleased and acknowledging what God is doing through us in our lives. There is a lot of sharing what God is doing in our lives in whatever our calling is be it secular or in the church….”not what we can do ourselves lest any man should boast.” Lots of times in my own life there is celebration not because of what I am able to share or do but the joy at the end of sometimes a rather long and very painful journey.

  26. Lynn permalink

    I have come to ask your forgiveness,because I try to do the bible reading and the words start to get blurry on me after i have been reading for a while,and i try again and the same things happens. i put my bible down for a while and try again only to end up falling to sleep.the doctors are still ttrying to figure out why i tend ti fall to slrrp 4-6 times a day, sometimes more often. i have copd with emphysema and my oxygen saturation hasn’t been too good. they said that might be the problem but aren’t sure. might also be why words get blurry when i try to read. please pray for this to stop so that i can follow this challenge. thank you and God bless

  27. Briana permalink

    I had a lesson about arrogance this morning, which is funny that I read this hours later.. I was getting ready this morning and I was thinking about some things, and I was thinking about how smart I am (lol)… and then I looked in the mirror and realized I had my shirt on backwards… I thought it was pretty funny and it made me reflect on how smart I am compared to God and how I’m also not better than other people. It was one of those humbling moments for sure.

  28. Beverly permalink

    arrogance is easily squashed when we dwell on the all powerful, almighty, all present GOD. just looking at how magnificent He is for just a few seconds takes all of our arrogance and squashes it like a little bug. I too can get caught up in the wonder of myself when left to myself. But God reminds me FREQUENTLY that it is HE in me that is of value. I am so thankful that God does that. Because on the flip side of that is my numerous imperfections. If the good things puff me up then all of my faults bring me to despair. So I will allow Him to cover my sin and defects and understand that no good thing dwells in me except that which is Christ Jesus. Thanks for being so honest about your faults and vulnerability.

  29. Mona permalink

    Very fitting commentary for my day also! Thanks, Mark!

  30. Tina permalink

    As you relate your experience of learning how to deal with arrogance, we your readers are learning from your example. Please continue your awe-inspiring efforts, so that we too may continue to learn from you! God bless you!

  31. wow.although this is my very 1st time of really checking ur messages,i find it not captivating,not mind blowing cos any other page can be but spiritually sound,a comforting friend and i dont think i’m goin to miss a day of it.you hav started the journey but He’s already ahead and He will see u throug. God bless

  32. Aaron permalink

    When I read the first 2 chapters in Matthew i never realized that God loves to talk to people through dreams. There are a total of 5 dreams of God talking to, Joseph (4), and the Magi (1). WOW!

  33. Connir Lovingood permalink

    Vs. 8 says that we cannot control our “unruly evil, full of deadly passion” tongue. This is very true, but we can be aware of this fault and strive to think before we talk. James is warning us that if what we say does not portray our image of God, then it is sinful. What I mean is that we as people made in the image of God, need to show others who God is through what we say and do. James tells us that if we “curse” others, or talk badly about them, and on the other hand praise God we are contradicting our selves. We need to live the walk for Jesus as we praise God.
    I’m loving these studies! They give me something new to think about every day as I journey deeper into God’s world.. . becoming closer to Him.
    Thank You Lord, I found this glorious challenge to seek out who you really are. Amen Amen.

  34. Connie Lovingood permalink

    Being humble is not one of my worldly qualities. I work on obtaining a humble heart and soul on a daily basis. I do not fret over it, though, because I know God is helping me become more humble. With humbleness comes the wisdom behind it. Each day I come closer to God bringing me peace that furthers my growth toward being a humble Christian. It never ceases to amaze me. What joy it brings to me. My friends are even noticing a change in me.

  35. Ami permalink

    I am starting a new job teaching incarcerated boys and I have been praying for God to use me. After being laid off from the public school system 7 months ago I found myself almost automatically reciting my resume highlights to anyone that would listen. Unfortunately, I should have paraphrased that recitation with the words, “By the grace of God, I…”.
    Just wanted you to know that your message spoke to my heart.
    Blessings,
    Ami

  36. MaryMarthaKay permalink

    Just a few scriptures to ponder:

    1Sa 2:3 Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let not arrogancy come out of your mouth: for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed.

    Pr 8:13 The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.

    Jas 4:6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.

    I don’t think there is one among us that has not been puffed up with pride at one time or another, and probably more than once. The very PRIDE of Satan that caused him to fall, is the very thing he tempts us with hoping to trip us so we fall. Our instruction to overcome temptation is: 2 Co 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; {imaginations: or, reasonings}.

    The Lord showed me the following several years ago and I post this so that you also can take it to heart to help you in your walk with the LORD. It has helped me many times when I get puffed up.

    P R I D E = turn the “P” of your PRIDE over on bended knees, humbled before the LORD, so you can “b” the “b r i d e” of Christ.

    If you don’t humble yourself before the LORD, HE will soon assist you in the matter.

    Pr 16:18 Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.

    Pr 29:23 A man’s pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit.

    God BLess each of you as you humbly grow in the LORD. Thank you Rev. Mark for this message today and your insight.

    God Bless U, Sharron Gray Atkinson

  37. Anu A. permalink

    This blog is very helpful in my daily walk with God however I’m still struggling with fleshly desires. It’s so difficult to overcome then and I find myself giving inso easily. I really need prayer and advice to stay strong. I’m also facing financial struggle school wise and need prayer to stay strong.

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