The Four Signs Satan is Winning – #2: Arrogance
Over the 26 years I’ve been in ministry, this is an attribute that has come up in Christians and Christian leaders time and time again. On one hand, as I get to work with a lot of different Church and Ministry leaders, it’s exciting to see God at work in so many ways. On the other hand, I have seen how easy it is for ministries to suffer from what I call ‘ministry arrogance.’ This arrogance bleeds down into their Christian communities as well.
Arrogance is defined by Merriam Webster as ‘an attitude of superiority manifested in an overbearing manner or in presumptuous claims or assumptions.’ Combine that with Christian people and you have Christians who show an attitude of superiority that shows up in an overbearing manner. And unfortunately, we see it all the time. Christians who spend more time focusing on how others ‘got it wrong’ than on things they can improve on. Or the issues that they care about are the only issues that everyone else should care about. How about the people who look down on an individual or a church for using a particular version of the Bible. (Hello KJV-only people?)
I believe this is a sign of the enemy’s influence in our lives because everything we read in relation to which side to come down on in the daily battle (and believe me, it is a true battle!), of arrogance vs. humility is the Bible speaks so clearly that we should be daily pursuing humility. Look at a few of these verses and tell me what you think:
Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” 1 Peter 5:5
Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, Colossians 3:12
I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Ephesians 4:1-3
The goal in the Christian life, and certainly Christian leadership is to not get people to follow and exalt you, but to follow and exalt Jesus. And at least in Christian leadership, I see far too often people who show signs of narcissistic personality disorder, and unfortunately, because they are Christian leaders and pastors, people don’t feel like they can say anything because they are in a place of authority.
So how do we know if this influence is creeping in? Two quick thoughts: First, if you’re finding success in your work or personal life, this is where arrogance can creep in. After all, it’s easy to by humble when you’re failing, just as it’s just too easy to take credit when things go well. The second way that arrogance creeps in when Christians wrongly characterize Christian maturity with knowledge, and that leads many to think that knowledge equals maturity with Jesus. But as Paul writes in 1 Corinthians, it’s a false test. Look at this, ‘Now concerning food offered to idols: we know that “all of us possess knowledge.” This “knowledge” puffs up, but love builds up. If anyone imagines that he knows something, he does not yet know as he ought to know. But if anyone loves God, he is known by God.’ Knowledge far too often can breed arrogance, while Love develops humility.
And while I have A LOT to say about this, the thing I’ve learned is that, at least in Christian ministry, it is when we humble ourselves before the Lord and allow Him to work in and through a situation that we actually see true success. After all, James tell us that we should ‘Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt (to raise in rank, power, or character) you.’ Be sure to catch that…. I have a personal story about this I’ll have to share with you soon, but it is so true. As we take our hand off the wheel and stop thinking we can do it on our own, He comes in and works in life, ministry, job, etc., in ways that we never could have seen coming!
In the next post in this series, we’ll be looking at another true sign that the enemy is winning in your life…. When moral lines in your life begin to get a big blurry.
 1 Corinthians 8:1-3