Have you ever met someone who was “full of themselves”? Someone whose world revolved around them, someone for whom life was “all about them”? This is the kind of person Paul is talking about. When we allow our egos to grow bigger than our realities, we presume qualities about ourselves that are not supported in reality. We think we have all the answers, we think we understand fully, we think we are better than other people. We take on an attitude of arrogance that is not in keeping with that of love. Love is not puffed up!
In any relationship, there must be room for both people. When one person begins to become puffed up, they crowd out the other person. When one person is arrogant, or puffed up, then there is little room left in the relationship for the other person. Everything in the relationship ends up revolving around the them. Every decision, every activity, every external relationship must be all about them. The end result of arrogance in a relationship is strife. “An arrogant man stirs up strife, but he who trusts in the Lord will prosper.” (Proverbs 28:25) Over the long haul, no relationship can endure such strife and remain healthy. Arrogance and strife in a relationship typically produces one of two outcomes, either the other person is reduced to nothing or the relationship breaks altogether. Either way, the fruit of arrogance is not the fruit of love.
Arrogance blinds us to the truth about ourselves. The arrogant person walks in darkness and his feet stumble into iniquity. Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before stumbling.” (Proverbs 16:18) Often the arrogant person does not perceive that they are stumbling. They do not perceive the harm they are doing in their relationships. In their mind they are not at fault therefore they assume that the fault lies with the other person. I have known people who have gone from one failed relationship to another and it was always the other person’s fault. They never stopped to consider that maybe they were the problem! Paul cautions those who think they have it all together. “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall.” (1 Corinthians 10:12) Paul’s point is that, just because we think we stand does not mean that we really do. Just because we think we have it all together doesn’t mean that we really do. Just because we are convinced that all the problems in our relationships are the other person’s fault does not mean that we are not to blame. We must take heed and examine our lives. We must compare what we think about ourselves with how we really are. We must check our heart to see if there be any arrogance or any area where we have become “puffed up”. Arrogance is not our friend and must be rooted out of our lives.
More to come… David Robison