Thursday, May 25, 2017

Arrogance

Never use scripture as a weapon! It's not to be used for a "gotcha". Those who do that are arrogant. Look what scripture is for:
2 Timothy 3:16 "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:"
  1. transmit ideas
  2. point out a fault
  3. correct errors
  4. teach what is right
Nowhere do I see "offend", "one-up", "antagonize", "humiliate", "show-off", "pressure", "acknowledge one's own IQ", or any other nefarious uses. Scripture should always be used in a gentle manner to persuade. Most of this list are displays of arrogance. I've said before that, arrogance pales pride!

Pride is taking pleasure in oneself. It's placing oneself above others. Arrogance is having an exaggerated degree of self-importance.  Some learned people use their knowledge, not to teach others, but to magnify themselves. People don't mind when others disagree, it is when others are dogmatic - only they know the truth. What is worse is when arrogant people just assume that others are uneducated, have no experience, or are dim-witted.

Here are three verses on arrogance:
1 Samuel 2:3 ( ESV)  "Talk no more so very proudly, let not arrogance come from your mouth; for the Lord is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed."
Romans 12:3 "For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned."
Proverbs 8:13 "The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate. "
God considers those arrogant as foolish. Why? They won't listen to the ideas of others, accept fault,  stand for correction, or be willing to learn what is right.

Youth have limited experience, knowledge, and reflection. However, at some point in time they believe that they either know it all, or know more than their elders. Sometimes, with just a little education, they aggrandize their wisdom. It's as if truth is innate, and truth is only what they believe! Usually, those young people accept as fact what their teachers say, or what their parents instill but often, it's just impressions they have.

It is good for teachers and parents to teach and instill values, but they must be truthful and beneficial. Arrogant people are "manners ignorant", or possibly, manners don't apply to them. They use the shot-gun method of discussion - their aim is to maim, not console. They use bear traps on bunnies.

Arrogance is not what is said as much as how it's said. Few people are offended if corrected with kindness or disagreed with, with consideration. It's the attitude of the arrogant that is offensive -  they feel they must be right and will be right without regard to the feelings of others. When an arrogant person wounds a victim, there is no love shown nor received. Indeed, the arrogant person creates enemies with his tongue, pencil, or keyboard.

What do others do about those who are arrogant. Avoid!. Indeed, we are to shake the dust from our feet and move on (Luke 9:5). Arrogant people cannot be convinced by argument. They must first taste isolation before they ask, "Why do people avoid me?"

For me, I strive to control my pride but often it comes through. When it does, I try to never be arrogant. Maybe I fail. I am dogmatic in what God's word says. He inspires me with what I believe is His will. However, that's for me to internalize. I will defend any attack against God, but should do it with kindness. Sometimes, I do so with pride; and some would say, with arrogance.

However, my nature is not one of arrogance. I love to share my opinion through my commentary, but if one doesn't accept it, I don't get excited. We all have our opinions, and although I value mine because it's based on facts, others may feel the same way. The problem with arrogant people is that the ideas and values of the other person mean nothing to them. They are not empathetic or even considerate!

I hurt inside when people don't like me; when they are arrogant toward me. Arrogance is a trait which shows distaste, and perhaps, dislike for others. Arrogance tries to make another appear to be a fool. Arrogance doesn't respect a difference of opinion or values.

It's is insulting to the wise -  those who have experienced and applied knowledge for years, to be "set straight" by someone just beginning. My own son, at fifteen-years of age, said, "Dad, why do I have to go to school? I already know more than the teachers." That is na├»ve but arrogant adults, even those in their mid-twenties and thirties, hang onto that notion. They are even convinced that their version of the truth is ultimate truth. The arrogant are foolish.

Some of my commentary is wrong. I try not to be wrong, but I'm human, and thus error-prone. When I make an error in judgment or even spelling, I am humbled. Nobody likes being wrong but at times, we all are. None of us enjoy having our errors pointed out, but if done convincingly and with kindness, it makes the pill easier to swallow. Arrogant people correct with a verbal machete. They take a swath at the offender and cut out his tongue as they go for the brain. Even when the other person is right, he feels wronged, and abused. Why argue with those who are prideful when pride can maim?
Ephesians 4:32  (KJV) "And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you."


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