Ego or Arrogance

June 29, 2015

“So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God,
and at the right time he will lift you up in honor.”
– 1 Peter 5:6


Everyone has a certain amount of ego, but we must be able to keep it under control. Ego is feeling confident and important, knowing we can do the job. But, if we start feeling that we’re too important, or that we can do the job without real effort and hard work, that’s arrogance. Arrogance is a character weakness. In high school, my favorite poet was Ogden Nash. I wrote a term paper my junior year on his writings and still keep a collection of his poems in my office. Nash takes a humorous view of arrogance to warn us of its dangers.

Sometime when you’re feeling important,
Sometime when your ego’s in bloom,
Sometime when you take it for granted, You’re the best qualified in the room.
Sometime when you feel that your going
Would leave an unfillable hole,
Just follow this simple instruction
And see how it humbles your soul.

Take a bucket and fill it with water;
Put your hand in it up to the wrist.
Pull it out, and the hole that’s remaining
Is the measure of how much you’ll be missed.

You splash all you please when you enter;
You can stir up the water galore;
But stop, and you’ll find in a minute,
That it looks quite the same as before.

The moral in this quaint example
Is to do just the best that you can.
Be proud of yourself, but remember,
There is no indispensable man!

Peter believed that as followers of Jesus, we should be “clothed with humility.” He also reminds us that “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Some of the best coaches in history were fierce competitors, yet humble leaders. Tom Landry, Tony Dungy, John Wooden, Eddie Robinson and Kay Yow are only a few that come to mind. As coaches we must remember that confidence is great, but arrogance is not a virtue.

Heavenly Father, keep me humble. Help me to honor You today by giving my best in all that I do. Amen.


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