The Monster Called Arrogance

A fool takes no pleasure in understanding,

but only in expressing his opinion.

~ Proverbs 18:2

Rarely a day goes by that I do not see it – a calling out of someone publicly. The topics vary, yet the reasons remain unwavering: the need to be right and be praised for it. Unknown fingers fly across keyboards, faces hidden, motives clear: humiliate whoever disagrees with your stance. What ought to be a private conversation, becomes a carnival show of hate. The aftermath of this arrogant judgement and spewed hatred is always the same: hurt feelings, humiliation, scathing remarks that leave scars heart deep on the victim. The claim of justification for the vitriol immutable: accountability while sharing the truth in love.

On the heels of this prideful  judgement, gossip and slander never fail to follow. And this monster called arrogance grows.

IMG_8684I expect it from the abyss of the world who is absence Yeshua and His love, ignorant to His grace and His Truth; for those who claim to walk in Torah, it perpetually blindsides me. I suppose I just expect more from people who serve an Elohim of love, who ought to be reflecting that love.

Pride and arrogance are fed by our insecurities. They are fed by our carnal desires for praise and adoration from people. We ought to ask ourselves when this shift took place, when being more pleased with the adoration of men and being less pleasing to Adonai was allowed a foothold. He created us for a purpose only known to himself and ego fed desires thwart our purpose creating a path of self-reliance. Self-reliance steals the glory from the only one who deserves it. And regardless of the plan, we each have a duty as a follower of Yeshua: create disciples and teach them His commandments. Who wants to follow Yeshua if His followers are proud and arrogant, prone to slander and gossip and hate speech, quick to publicly shame those they indignantly judge?

Yeshua was the perfect picture of humility. His words convicted, never humiliated. Even in a crowd. Why if we claim to follow Him, is it so difficult to tame our tongues, speak words that teach and heal? Because the tongue is an unruly evil that no man can tame.

For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. But no man is able to tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, filled with deadly poison. With it we bless our Elohim and Father, and with it we curse man who have been made in the likeness of Elohim. Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brothers, this should not be so. ~ James 3:7-10

And for that reason alone, we can not wage a war with everyone who disagrees with us. I would suggest the best path is one of silence and meditation on the Word for He teaches us the way to walk, to speak, to act, to be faithful. And that is the way it should be, a walking out of our faith in such a way that it intrigues people and makes them seek Yeshua and His truth.

Pride always points to us; sharing truth and exemplifying love and grace point to Him.

IMG_8838I believe we ought to have a boldness. But that boldness must present in the form of an unwavering stance of adhering to truth and not in a form of bullying and hostility and shaming. For we are called to be a peculiar people, example setters, a beacon of light.  Screaming opinions, bullying others, and prideful words never changed anyone’s mind.

I would even say this: if you must call some one out by name on their behavior or belief and you do it in a public forum such as facebook, you most certainly are doing it for your glory, not Adonai’s. You are doing it to show all your connections how right you are and how knowledgeable you are all while shaming someone else to show how wrong they are and how ignorant they are. Sounds a little bit like the Pharisees if you ask me. Yeshua has much to say about them too: He called them hypocrites and vipers.

There is always a possibility we are wrong; if there was not, we would be Adonai. Being open to that possibility allows truth to emerge. Being humble allows us to be taught. If our position is simply proving we are right, then we are arrogant to believe we are more knowledgeable than our Elohim who seeks to teach us and mold us in His image. And above all, His image is love and His image is Truth.

The worst thing is not being wrong, but being an abomination to Adonai.

These six matters Adonai hates, and seven are an abomination to Him:

a proud look,

a lying tongue,

and hands shedding innocent blood,

a heart devising wicked schemes,

feet quick to run to evil,

a false witness breathing out lies,

and one who causes strife among brothers.

But we are told how to protect ourselves from falling into the trap of these abominations:

My son, watch over your father’s command,

and do not forsake the Torah of your mother.

Bind them on your heart always;

tie them around your neck.

When you are walking about, it leads you;

when you lie down, it guards you.

And when you have woken up, it talks to you.

And then we are told why:

For the command is a lamp,

and the Torah a light,

and reproofs of discipline a way of life.

~ Proverbs 6:16-23

He gives us good instruction and yet we forsake His Torah. We ignore the words that lead us in the way to be holy and righteous and good. All for the satisfaction of being right. For being praised. For adoration. For a soon forgotten moment’s glory. For the applause, most often, of people we do not even know. All for a tongue that will not be tamed and for a fleeting satisfaction that can never fill our deep inadequacies that are only meant to be filled with Yeshua.

As Adonai’s created, we need to be on our faces before Him seeking true humility and cloaking ourselves in it because if our walk doesn’t match His commandment to love, our witness is void.

IMG_8632Love is never proud. It does not boast. Nor is it self-seeking, easily angered, dishonoring to others. And if you must go around telling everyone how humble you are, how loving you are, how you are just speaking the truth in love, then probably you are not. There is a reason we are known by our fruits: they are seen not shouted. We must be in a state of perpetual self-examination, questioning where we are lacking in our character, repenting of it, and beseeching Adonai to fill those holes with the fruits of His character. His love and peace and joy. His patience and kindness, goodness and faithfulness. His gentleness.  And certainly His self-control.

Yet if instead, we choose a path of arrogance and pride, of always boasting our opinions, of always shouting why we are right, scripture is clear in its warning.

Pride comes, then comes shame; but with the humble is wisdom. ~ Proverbs 11:2

Everyone proud in heart is an abomination to Adonai; hand to hand: he goes not unpunished. ~ Proverbs 16:5

Before destruction comes pride, and before a fall a haughty spirit! ~ Proverbs 16:18

Have you seen a man wise in his own eyes? There is more expectancy for a fool than
for him. ~ Proverbs 26:12 And Paul reminds us later in Romans 12:26 when he says, “Do not be proud in mind, but go along with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation.”

One often reproved, hardening his neck, is suddenly broken, and there is no healing. ~ Proverbs 29:1

Possibly, we ought to heed the warnings.

No one has ever made himself great by showing how small someone else is.

~ Irvin Himmel

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