Arrogant People

The “Fonz” on TV’s Happy Days was fun to watch as he swaggered about. In real life arrogant people aren’t always fun to watch. They can be hard to love and can even cause hurt and harm to others. The line between arrogance and confidence is often the dividing line between winning and losing. Confident sports teams usually win, overly confident or arrogant teams are often upset and lose. The children of Israel won in life when they lived confidently close to God, but suffered tragic losses when they became arrogant and distant from God.

God wants us to win in life as we walk in confidence (assurance, boldness [1]) with Him. But to become arrogant (exaggerating our own importance [2]) sets us up to lose [3].

How do we love people who slip into arrogance? How can we discern between arrogance and confidence? How can we avoid becoming arrogant? I Corinthians Chapter 4 gives us some direction.

1. Arrogant people may try to control through criticism. They feel their perspective is superior and their agenda more important than others (vs. 3-6). Confident people don’t elevate themselves or disparage others. Their focus is to serve Christ (vs. 1, 2) and rest in His acceptance, validation, and purpose (vs. 4, 5).

Arrogance isn’t always obvious. I have been arrogant at times with Debbie when I insisted on my agenda even when it was hurtful and inconsiderate. I didn’t swagger around or talk obnoxiously, but I quietly elevated myself and pursued my own agenda.

2. Arrogant people need to be warned and interacted with cautiously (vs. 14-21). Arrogance is a spiritual toxin that’s harmful to the arrogant and those who are close. It’s like the effects of tobacco smoke on the one who smokes and those nearby who breath it in. [4]

An arrogant person isn’t an enemy, but an infected loved one who needs a change, and until change takes place and the infection is removed, they are in a harmful place.  It’s very hard yet very loving to say to someone who is dear: “I’m concerned about how you’re going about some things.  You seem to insist on things being your way, while discrediting others with different but valid positions. Until there’s some change, it’s going to affect our closeness.”

We have all been arrogant.  It is something that can slip up on any of us.  But thank goodness we have a Savior Who was born to take away our arrogance and sin and is alive to enable us to live humbly like Him.

A Special Request: We have been overflowing with children and adults who are facing personal, family, and spiritual battles. We are able to counsel and help these people without charge because of our “Friends of Lighthouse.” These friends support Lighthouse with their prayers and financial gifts. Some of those we see can and do make contributions to help offset expenses. However, most of our funding comes from “Friends of Lighthouse.”

We are facing a need for $60,000 to cover salaries, office, and ministry expenses. We have an opportunity again this year to have matching funds given to our ministry for up to $10,000 of contributions that are new or above what we would normally receive.

If God prompts you to help us by making a new or extra contribution, we would be thankful. If you are a current Friend of Lighthouse, thank you. Your help has been instrumental this past month in restoring families that had come apart, introducing people to Christ, and helping inner city kids heal from hard backgrounds to begin living with faith in God.

Holiday Blessings,
Larry

[1] The Merriam Webster Dictionary
[2] The Merriam Webster Dictionary
[3] Philippians 2:3
[4] Romans 11:20; James 2:1-4; Proverbs 16:5

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