By definition, arrogance is an overbearing pride combined with disdain or contempt for others. It is an exaggerated sense of one’s own importance or abilities. By definition, the arrogant are self-deceived. Arrogance is something that wisdom hates (see Proverbs 8:13). Another word for it would be haughtiness, which ties in with a haughty spirit as found in Proverbs 16:18, Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall (KJV).
Arrogance will never influence people for the Kingdom of God. When it is attached to religion in the guise of Christianity, it tends to bring people into the religious slavery of the traditions of men. It fails to understand that grace empowers people to live righteously and to do the things of God. This religious spirit does not trust that the Holy Spirit can help people navigate in the way that is pleasing to God. It is more comfortable with giving people sets of rules to follow. Therefore, those with a religious spirit teach people to be mindful of sin, which in turn leads them to mind the flesh instead of the Sprit. They are right in their own eyes, but do not consider what is right in God’s eyes. Being religious is not synonymous with being spiritual. The former is manmade and flesh driven, while the later is God centered and Holy Sprit led. The religious of today are much the same as the scribes and Pharisees in the days of Jesus’ earthly ministry. Mark 7:5-13 Then the Pharisees and scribes asked Him, Why walk not Thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashen hands? He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. Howbeit in vain do they worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition. For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death: But ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; he shall be free. And ye suffer him no more to do ought for his father or his mother; Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye (KJV, see also Matthew 23:1-39; Luke 12:1).
A religious spirit is incapable of restoring a fallen brother or sister. It breeds contempt and knows nothing about mercy, nor does it understand the true nature of grace. Because, it is afraid of contamination by association, it will not stretch out its hand to anyone who could infer guilt by their involvement. It takes comfort in its “superiority” over others who are “lost” or “backslidden.” Those who embrace this spirit fail to console the guilt-ridden because they feel they deserve to feel guilty; even when they are looking to repent, but do not know how. They have overlooked the passage of Scripture that says, “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself” (Galatians 6:1-3, KJV). They forget James 5:19-20 which says, “Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins” (KJV).
You do not fight arrogance with arrogance; you fight it with humility. In this case, if you fight fire with fire, everything burns. The only appropriate fire in this struggle is the fire of God, which destroys pride. It works much like a controlled burn that a firefighter uses to prevent further damage. Spiritually speaking, as water quenches fire, so does mercy extinguish wrath and anger. Humility will reach out to the arrogant by treating them well and refusing to debate with them. It employs patience and meekness, along with prayer. Those who are truly humble do not desire the downfall of the arrogant; rather, they desire their repentance for their good. The arrogant are just as destitute as any other sinner who commits what many consider heinous acts. As difficult as it may be, we need to be compassionate for them. How many of us have been stung by the realization that we were self-deceived at some point in our lives? Face it; it is easy to fall into that trap. Ironically, it would be effortless to be arrogant with the arrogant. We must approach them with love. After all, God approached us with love. Selah! Romans 12:16-21 Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits. Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good (KJV).
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