Would You Say You are more Humble or Arrogant?

April 24, 2023

A Drug Enforcement Administration Officer stopped at a ranch in Texas, and talked with an old rancher. He told the rancher, “I need to inspect your ranch for illegally grown drugs.”

The rancher pointed to a section of the ranch and said, “Okay, but don’t go in that field over there.”

The DEA Officer verbally exploded saying, “Mister, I have the authority of the Federal Government with me!” Reaching into his rear pants pocket, he removed his badge and proudly displayed it to the rancher and said, “See this badge! This badge means I am allowed to go wherever I wish, on any land I choose! No questions asked, or answers given! Have I made myself clear? Do you understand?” The rancher nodded politely, apologized, and went about his chores. A short time later, the old rancher heard loud screams, looked up, and saw the DEA Officer running for his life, being chased by the rancher’s biggest bull. With every step the bull was gaining ground on the officer, and it seemed likely that he’d sure enough get gored before he reached safety. The officer was clearly terrified.

The rancher threw down his tools, ran to the fence and yelled at the top of his lungs, “Your badge, show him your BADGE!”

Arrogance and pride are way too common, and we really have no reason to be overly proud. There is no such thing as a self-made person. People who have gone before us have paved the way for all or our successes. Everything we have has been given to us by God. The most we can say about what we have and what we accomplish is that we worked hard, and most of us have someone else to thank for instilling a good work ethic in our lives.

In Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis wrote, “A proud man is always looking down on things and people; and, of course, as long as you are looking down, you cannot see something that is above you.” Will Rogers once said, “Too many people spend money they earned to buy things they don’t want to impress people that they don’t like.” South African minister Andrew Murray said, “Pride must die in you, or nothing of heaven can live in you.” Ann Landers adds her unique perspective writing, “Don’t accept your dog’s admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful.” Finally, the great theologian Thomas Aquinas said of pride, “Inordinate self-love is the cause of every sin … the root of pride is found to consist in man not being, in some way, subject to God and His rule.”

There is no greater example of perfect humility than Jesus Christ. Paul writes in I Thessalonians 2:8, “And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death - even death on a cross!” There is no worse example of humility than you and me. Perhaps you are thinking, “I’m not that arrogant. I know a lot of people that are more arrogant than I am.” So, I challenge you to a test. Go to our website, lagrangepres.org, and click “Learn About Us.” At the bottom of that link is “Spiritual Resources” and the second item is called the “Arrogance Exercise.” I encourage you to test yourself. I guarantee you will learn something about yourself.

Paul challenges us to have the same mindset as Jesus Christ, one of humility. He wrote in Colossians 3:12, “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” Have you ever wondered what that outfit looks like? What outfit you wonder? The outfit of humility. Paul says to clothe yourself with humility.

It looks like Camel’s hair with a diet of locusts and honey. That is the outfit John the Baptist wore. Before he baptized Jesus, he was the rock star of the wilderness. People are coming from Jerusalem to listen to John tell them they are a bunch of worthless sinners, and they need to confess their sins and be baptized for forgiveness. Huge crowds are coming to hear John preach and teach and be baptized. Then Jesus shows up and John must decrease so Jesus can increase (John 3:30). A truly humble servant does not serve Jesus for personal glory, but does all s/he does to glorify Jesus.

Do you think you are humbler than most? Do you think you are more arrogant than others? Does God compare your arrogance or humility to others? Did you think about checking out the Arrogance Exercise? What keeps you from taking a moment and clicking through the links at lagrangepres.org? (To find out more about Al Earley or read previous articles see, www.lagrangepres.org).