Monday, September 5, 2011

Arrogance is Always Ugly

Wise men are humble men—humble men are godly men.

“He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?” Micah 6:8

Humility is attractive, both to men and to God. There can be no wisdom without humility; it is the mark of wisdom.

Arrogance defined: Pride is what R. L. Dabney calls “self-applause,” or the feeling that a man gets when he makes a comparison between himself and some other person he considers to be his inferior. Arrogance seeks to display and gratify this feeling of pride by showing its superiority to others and by making others painfully feel their inferiority. It takes a low view of others and a high view of self.

Humility defined: Humility is the opposite of pride and arrogance, and results when a man views others as more important, or as superiors. A high view of others and a low view of self. Genuine modesty adorns humility.

The proud man is always looking down—the humble man is always looking up. And so, it turns out that humility is, in fact, the elevating emotion, and pride the degrading emotion.

“A wise man fears and departs from evil, but a fool rages and is self-confident.” Proverbs 14:16

Consider but a few examples of humility from Scripture:

Job: “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees You. Therefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” Job: 42:5-6

Abraham: “Then Abraham answered and said, ‘Indeed now, I who am but dust and ashes have taken it upon myself to speak to the Lord.’ ” Genesis 18:27

Jacob: “I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies and of all the truth which You have shown Your servant; for I crossed over this Jordan with my staff, and now I have become two companies.” Genesis 32:10

Moses: “Then Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married; for he had married an Ethiopian woman. So they said, ‘Has the Lord indeed spoken only through Moses? Has He not spoken through us also?’ And the Lord heard it. (Now the man Moses was very humble, more than all men who were on the face of the earth.)” (Num. 12:1-3).
David: “So now, do not let my blood fall to the earth before the face of the Lord. For the king of Israel has come out to seek a flea, as when one hunts a partridge in the mountains.” 1 Samuel 26:20

“Thus says the Lord: ‘Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, let not the mighty man glory in his might, nor let the rich man glory in his riches; but let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight,’ says the Lord.” Jeremiah 9:23-24


  1. Randy-
    Thanks - this is a great message. And, you know, now that I've licked my problem with pride, I'm about the greatest guy you'd ever want to know!
    Mark Haggard

  2. Thanks for this Pastor Booth! Last week I finished C.J. Mahaney's book "Humility" it was good. One of the things I really appreciated was the fact that he never says, "here's how to kill the sin of pride." Instead he is very realistic that this is a lifetime endeavor; he speaks about "weakening pride and cultivating humility." The second half of the book is very practical in encouraging certain spiritual disciplines (not like a 10-step program or anything of the sort) that will indeed kill pride and grow us in humility. Actually, I just remembered this great quote from Martyn Lloyd-Jones that Mahaney gives concerning the primary importance of staying cross-focused if we want to destroy pride. I'll have to get the book out and find it, maybe I'll post it on the blog.