The words arrogance, proud or haughty are mentioned over 200 times in Scripture. Proverbs 16:5 tells us God detests those who are arrogant and have a haughty heart. In Proverbs 6:16-19, the first thing in the list of seven things the Bible tells us God hates are haughty eyes (NIV). Second Timothy 3:2 tells us to have nothing to do with people who are lovers of themselves (NIV). First Peter 5:5 sums up how God feels about the arrogant attitude: God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble (ESV).
The opposite of arrogance is humility, and Jesus is the only perfect example of what humility looks like. His life began and ended with extraordinary humility. He came into the world in the most humble way, leaving everything He had. Then He died in a gruesome manner, having done nothing wrong. He could have stopped it all—He could have called the angels and come down off the cross, but He didn’t. Philippians 2:6-8 describes how Jesus didn’t use the fact that He was God to His advantage—instead, He humbled Himself and took on human likeness. He came as a servant and was like us in every way, obedient to death, even to death on the cross. All because He loves us.
But it wasn’t just the beginning and end of His time on earth that displayed humility, it was every action and interaction with people throughout His life. Jesus did not needlessly offend others. He was aware of and sensitive to His audience, all while speaking the truth. He treated every person with respect, and He communicated in ways they could understand. This is why He spoke in parables. When He was talking to people who understood vineyards, He talked about being the vine while we are the branches (John 15:1-8). He talked about sowing seeds in fertile soil rather than throwing them into rocks with those who understood sowing and reaping (Matthew 13:1-23). He described Himself as the Good Shepherd to those who knew how important the care of a shepherd is in the life of the sheep (John 10:11-18). He washed the disciples’ feet when everyone watching knew that was usually a task for the servant (John 13:14). He lovingly introduced new concepts and new philosophies to those around Him, challenging what they’d believed before and pushing them to live differently. As followers of Jesus, our actions should imitate His.
What is my attitude toward others? Am I sensitive to others’ feelings, and do I talk to them in ways they can hear and understand? Am I imitating Christ in how I interact with all those around me?
This is Day Five of the 14 day “Attributes of Love” YouVersion study. Download it and start studying today!