5/16/13 - PTC_Proverbs 16 - "Pulling the weeds of arrogance"
Priority Time Challenge 2013
To view the instructions for our journey through the Proverbs and the daily schedule, click here.
Proverbs 16:5 (ESV)
Everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the Lord;
be assured, he will not go unpunished.
Who? "Everyone" This Proverb is all-inclusive. This means there is no one who can skirt the truth here. I think we all need to wrestle with the times we read the words "everyone" and "all" in Scripture. There are times God wants to get our attention around a concept that applies to all people. It's a way that God levels the playing field. In our world, there are so many things that only apply to certain groups. Many of the good things in life are only available to the wealthy. Likewise there are negative things available to all as in this Proverb.
What? "Arrogant" Here we go again with more instruction toward humility. More criticism of the arrogant and prideful. The recurring presence of God's condemnation of arrogance and pride should send a message that there is no getting away with it. This passage is designed for exactly that end. Arrogance in our hearts is an abomination to The Lord. This means He hates it! The convicting truth is pride and arrogance is the challenge for us all. Furthermore the promise here is that we who are arrogant will not go unpunished! This is not good the hear!
Let's break this down some. First, we are bent toward a selfish, prideful approach to life. It's typically our first action and reaction. But there is a step beyond the bent in all of us, that is arrogance. Arrogance connotes a willful, intentional pride. I think we all have those moments that we are caught up in pride almost before we know it. That is different than the idea of arrogance. Arrogance implies that we feel we are wiser than God. This is especially dangerous for the "mature" Christian who things he or she has achieved some status in the Christian life. It takes ongoing and active steps to reject the notion that I am somehow "somebody" because of what I have accomplished or because of people's opinions of me. It is not too difficult to fool the people around you and play a game with your Christian life. Your friends and even family can't see you heart. So, there is an arrogance that can be shrouded in a certain type of acceptable so called, "Christian" living. God sees the heart. That's what makes this truth so convicting. No after what people believe, God sees the truth about us. He knows if we are trusting in Him.
How's your arrogance level? Think about a typical day… When you are alone do you have those silent (for me sometimes out loud) conversations with God? Do you have a sense that you are living under His watchful eye and presence? Or, do you see God as distant and uninvolved? Do you equate your Christian life with a list of things you do, such as, attending church, reading your Bible or listening to a sermon podcast? The bottom line is, God seeks to have active, daily, relational involvement of leadership in our lives. This means that we must cultivate a heart of Humility that submits to Him in every way.
Punishment. Not a fun thing to think about. Does this mean God is going to make bad things happen to the arrogant? Well, that may be the case, because after all He can do whatever He wants! However, I think we are quick to assign God with an image of an "angry big brother" when that is far from true. I've noticed those who have trouble with faith or feel conviction over their sin gravitate to the idea that God is mean or unfair in an attempt to lessen guilt over their sin. In other words, "why should we feel bad for our sin if God is mean and unfair?" What is the punishment, or at least some of the punishment God promises to the arrogant comes as a natural consequence to a bad attitude or action? Believe me, I can speak from experience that the punishment that often comes from an arrogant attitude is the destruction of relationships, the breaking of trust and the loss of opportunity. I have personally felt the pain of being "wise in my own eyes" and realizing those decisions were poor and left me to pick up the pieces of those bad choices. It's vital to consider that the punishment of the arrogant is often the fall out of an arrogant life. It is my conviction that arrogance will ALWAYS bite you in the rear! Arrogance ALWAYS comes back to haunt you.
Cultivate humility. There is no other option. If our bent is pride and arrogance, we must put the work in for humility. I think about my yard, growing weeds is EASY. That's what happens when I do nothing. Growing grass, or anything else desirable takes work. It means pulling weed or paying someone to spray weed killer on your grass. It means fertilizer and proper care. It means sunlight and water. A desirable outcome take cultivation. Humility takes cultivation. We must realize that every day we are fighting with our sinful nature and the fast growing weed of arrogance.
Lord, I am arrogant. I am sorry for my pride and arrogance. Please forgive me. Forgive the naive and selfish idea that I have what it takes to make it today. I need the Holy Spirit to guide me today. I need YOUR mind regarding my attitude and action choices today. God constantly change my word from words of pride or boasting to words of encouragement and boasting in Christ. Change my actions from self-seeking to servanthood. Change my impatience into patience. For me right now, my lack of patience is where my arrogance is most evident. I am too consumed with what "I need to be doing." I'm short with my kids and Amanda, i'm not the patient husband and father i want to be. God change that in me. Help me see interruptions through your eyes. Help me pull the weeds of pride, selfishness and arrogance. Crank up the "sunshine" of Your truth to burn off the weeds.
- I need to actively revise my attitude when things get crazy at home. It's gonna be crazy for a few more years.
- I need to be more committed than every to my Priority Time, times of prayer and accountability - I cannot risk going even a day with an arrogant attitude.
- I need to be sure to address pride, selfishness and arrogance in my kids starting now. I pray they do not grow up without understanding how vital Humility is.
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