Following Jesus should affect many changes in a believer’s heart and life. Many of these changes, whether they be certain desires, actions, how we speak, etc., can happen slowly and sometimes they can happen quite quickly.
There is one character change, if we can call it that, that all believers must undergo. It is a character flaw that has no place in the Christian life, one that must be continually fought against. One that in some ways shows the spiritual maturity (or lack of trust in Christ) more than most other things. What is it?
In Ephesians 2:1 Paul writes, “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins.” In verse four and five he goes on to say, “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ.”
What we see here (and repeatedly throughout the New Testament) is that everyone of us was (or is) dead in our sins. Being dead, there is absolutely nothing we can do to change our situation. But God, being rich in mercy, intervened. Dead people are powerless to change their situation. Meaning no amount of good we do, or bad we don’t do, can make us any less “undead.”
So anyone who has been saved by God’s grace through the work of Christ did nothing on their part to earn it. “It is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).
And so we should be humbled. Humbled that God would choose to save. Followers of Christ are no better than anyone else; they simply realize they are sinners in need of God’s grace.
Which means an arrogant Christian should be an oxymoron. We have no room for it.
We rebelled. God did the work of forgiving us. God did the work of saving us. And God did the work of allowing us to enter into a relationship with him.
God did all of it, and we did none of it.
With this in mind, how can we afford to be arrogant in anyway? And this should affect us more than just how we view how “good” we may think we are against other people. It should cause us to treat others with patience and gentleness, as God has done so with us.
If we are gifted athletically, intellectually, business-wise, etc., we shouldn’t act prideful in these things. Instead, we should remembering how God has acted toward us, we should remain humble in our talents and skills.
We cannot be arrogant because Jesus, who is God and who has every right to be arrogant, is not.
Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.