“Listen and pay attention! Do not be arrogant, for the Lord has spoken.”
– Jeremiah 13:`15
We must always be on guard against self-importance and arrogance. There is an old joke about four guys on a plane: a Boy Scout, a minister, the smartest man alive and the pilot. The pilot comes out of the cockpit and notifies everyone that the plane is having engine trouble and will certainly crash. He says there are only three parachutes on board and they can decide who is staying, but he’s jumping now! The smartest man alive says he’s too important to the world so he should have one and promptly exits the plane. The minister grabs the Boy Scout’s shoulder and says he has lived a long and happy life and that he knows he’s going to heaven. He insists that the Boy Scout take the last parachute and jump. The Boy Scout then says, “No, you take this one and I’ll take the other one. The smartest man in the world just jumped out of the plane with my backpack.” Intelligence combined with self-importance (arrogance) is devastating and often leads to folly.
God’s Word tells us that arrogance is a hidden danger. Pride is harmful when we look down on others; when we are selfish with our resources; when we force our solutions on other’s problems; when we think God is blessing us because of our own merits; and when we are selfishly content with our own plans instead of seeking God’s plans. Jeremiah, often called the “Weeping Prophet”, begged his listeners to change their attitude and avoid being self-centered. He warned them that failure to accept the Lord as the one true God would bring about a “terrible darkness.” Jeremiah’s warning is just as relevant for us today. There is a very thin line between confidence and arrogance!
Heavenly Father, keep me from thinking too highly of myself today. Give me a backpack instead of a parachute if that’s what it takes. Amen.