Arrogance ( Canticle of Anna – Part 2)

“Speak boastfully no longer.. Do no let arrogance issue from your mouths.

For an all knowing God is the Lord, a God who weighs actions !  “

 

Arrogance.  We know that person.  The one who walks around thinking they are better than everyone else.  The cheerleader, the captain of one of the teams, the boss, the last date, or , dare we say, the “Holier than Thou” , the co-worker, the friend.  It really is offensive, it shows a lack of social graces, and flies in the face of every spiritual/moral/ethical boundary.

 

Taking a deeper look into the idea of arrogance has lead to what I will call the 2 Faces of Arrogance.  

The first “face” of arrogance is the sin of Pride.  Let us consider pride for a moment.  Most children are raised with the idea of pride being a good thing.. We were told to “take pride ” in our work, in our possessions, in ourselves, in our reputations, and our accomplishments.  In fact, we reinforce that idea of pride with praise, rewards, attention , and affections.   This idea is something that parents , bosses, and leaders drill into children, but is it really what they mean ?  This idea is conflicted, however, parents really mean that their children should care about how they look, or act or take care of the things that are entrusted to them.  Perhaps “pride” as a term is used to accomplish this idea by turning the motivation from being an external source ” the parent” , to an internal source, ” The child” .  This is not to say this is a bad thing, but is intended instead to examine what the source of pride might be , its source, and its development and what we do with it.

 

To accomplish something or to do something well, to have a talent or to just have some characteristic or ability, these are all things that others might be well ready and even eager to praise you for. So where does this  SIN of  ” Pride”, this first  ” face of arrogance” come in or develop ?  It comes in where we forget God !  Where we forget to train our children to remember that all things are a gift from God, our bodies, our abilities, our talents, our abilities to perceive and indeed our very lives are all gifts from God.

 

The sin arrives as we forget God, we exclude God and we failed to not only remember that all these gifts came from Him, but we forget to give him the thanks and glory due to him for these gifts we have received.  We then proceed to take that honor and glory into ourselves, putting ourselves on a pedestal to be praised instead. 

 

The second “face” of arrogance is the face of pain.  

In this case the person has taken this on as a shelter, or refuge.  They experience some sort of pain and insecurity.  This insecurity born of the desire or need for acceptance by either family , friends or peers.  That person having found comfort or solace wither in the thing they have received praise for , or the characteristic that they were given as a gift from God.

So the individual will throw themselves into the work of doing that one thing to the exclusion of the other things or relationships in their lives.  This experience is an empty and vicious cycle fueled by negative emotion.  In another facet of this face… where the praise originates out of a characteristic that is a gift. as in outward beauty where, having been accepted by society as possessing some characteristics that are deemed desirable, the person uses that gift as a way to not only gain desired acceptance, but uses it to manipulate others, to their own gain, looking within to accept glory and praise to the exclusion of all .

This idea of emptiness and emotional reliance on a talent or characteristic , for the value of self worth is like an avalanche. It starts small and builds to a massive force , but it eventually ends at the bottom of the mountain, leaving destruction in its wake and then after its over, it is no more…. emptiness again.

These 2 faces are not of course mutually exclusive ! The possibility exists that there are characteristics of each “face” in the same person, at the same time.  In each case however the problem is that the acknowledgement of God as the center of our lives is missing.  Taking on the position that we look inward as the source of our own creation and benefactor.  

 

Faith is the remedy for arrogance.  For it is through the practice of thanksgiving to God, that we may again realize that all things are gifts from God to be used in service of God to all of             mankind so that they will see and know that these gifts are from God and give glory to Him !

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