Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Arrogance Versus Assurance

Bryant Gumbel, a former host of NBC's Today Show, has been accused of being arrogant for years. Why? Because he knows his information? Because it is difficult for others to rattle him? Is it because he doesn't behave like the stereo-typical African American man? Why was he labeled in such a way? I watched him from time to time, I just didn't see what he was being accused of. The funny thing was when he no longer hosted the Today Show, I didnt hear all of those jabs about his character any longer. So is that proof that the ones making the statements were jealous (or as they are called, haters)?

In going to church services, I have heard many ministers over the years. They have done so much work and have helped so many people have such satisfying lives. Who had the idea to make those works known in church services? I have seen film of what ministers have done for others. I have seen pastors pat themselves on the back while they were preaching because the congregation wasn't responding as the minister thought they should have. I listened while the now familiar phrase, "you don't hear me" comes across the microphone right after quoting scripture and the revelation knowledge that God gave him. Would this be arrogant? Does this behavior go against the Word? Did it just bother me because I have prudish ways by which I need the deliverance? Well then, God help me!

The Word tells us that God warned the children of Israel that when they get to the land by which He promised them, and He furnishes them with wells that they did not dig and houses that they did not build, to remember not to forget Him. Who would do that especially when the warning comes from a voice that made the provision of whom they could not see? Wouldn't you be afraid of doing anything opposing the warning. But don't we do this all of the time whether it be consciously or subconsciously? Did we not do this to our natural parents, thinking they had to provide because we didn't ask to be here? Were any of us apologetic or remorseful when we realized our arrogance in making the assumption that our parents should do far more than what they were doing? Were you grateful? Did they know it because of your assumption or did you actually thank them?

I was recently talking to my youngest son about why anyone would be afraid of success. He said that the mere possibility of a person gaining the status hoped for, being an inspiration to others, and thinking that it was done soley of their own efforts. Actually, I thought the statement was quite insightful and therefore I had to equip him with tools to make sure that would never happen. I recently wrote in another blog entitled, "Sober Minded." In it there were scenarios I believed to be quite common in a Christian's life. Towards the end of that excerpt, I wrote about the arrogance of those who believe that their success was because of all of the effort they put forth and forgetting Who it was that gave them the breath needed for that effort. Seeing this for what it is should put much of what we thought we should have in perspective to the point of being contrite.

The tools that I gave my son so he could be prepared for those fiery darts were:
1. Give God thanks for all that you are and have (1 Thessalonians 5:18 KJV).
2. To be content in whatever state that you are in (Philippians 4:11 KJV).
3. Be patient knowing that there is a process in everything in order for it to be good (James 1:4 KJV).
It is something he incorporates in his daily confession. He knew he had to once he understood what his strengths and weaknesses are. I had to make the same assessment of myself and am grateful that he gets to leaqrn these things at a much younger age. To think that the assessment is unnecessary borders on that arrogance.

Is there a fine line between having assurance as opposed to arrogance? In Christ there is no identity crisis and so we can do all things through Him (Philippians 4:13 KJV). We walk assured because of the faith believing that goodness and mercy are following (Psalm 23:6 KJV), we are guided by the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:16-17 AMP), and favor has gone before us. Because we believe that the Word is life we are assured with what the promises are and can stand therefore knowing that God will never, ever loosen His hold on us. Assurance is the effects of righteousness (Isaiah 32:17 KJV). Righteousness is necessary for Kingdom Living (Romans 14:17 KJV).

The fine line isn't quite so fine. Our abilities can change in a moment of being a victim of someone getting behind a wheel drunk to being mistreated by an supervisor and being moved by anger and right into prison. It is knowing that the line isn't as fine that keeps us thankful, meek and blessed.

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