God is not Arrogant
So many people tend to look at God with an idea based upon the Greek/Roman gods. In America we don’t realize how much we have been influenced by Greek thought. We tend to look and view God from a “god perspective” versus a “father perspective”. We don’t even use His name (Yahweh), rather we just call Him God. I don’t believe that Yahweh wanted to be known as God; I believe He has always wanted to be known as Father.
God is love (I John 4:7). In 1 Corinthians 13 we find the greatest definition of love. Since God is love and 1 Corinthians 13 gives us the definition of love, we can use the word God every time we see the word love. This passage says that love is not arrogant, therefore, God is not arrogant.
It saddens me to realize how many people think that our Father is arrogant. They believe that God is always making everything about Him. Some Christians are so afraid of getting any credit because they believe that God will get mad because they are taking away His glory.
The Bible has a bit to say about arrogance.
Psalm 101:5 Whoever secretly slanders his neighbor, him I will destroy; No one who has a haughty look and an arrogant heart will I endure. (NASB)
Proverbs 14:16 A wise man is cautious and turns away from evil, But a fool is arrogant and careless. (NASB)
Proverbs 6:16-17 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look,
Proverbs 28:25-26 An arrogant man stirs up strife, But he who trusts in the Lord will prosper. 26 He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, But he who walks wisely will be delivered. (NASB)
1 Corinthians 5:1-2 It is actually reported that there is immorality among you, and immorality of such a kind as does not exist even among the Gentiles, that someone has his father’s wife. 2 You have become arrogant and have not mourned instead, so that the one who had done this deed would be removed from your midst. (NASB)
Christians should be the least arrogant people in the world. We have nothing to be arrogant about. We should realize how broken and messed up we are. We should always remember from where God has brought us. We should always remain in a state of humility.
Most of us don’t like to be around an arrogant or prideful person; someone that is full of themselves. Unfortunately many people live as if God is arrogant, prideful and full of Himself.
If anyone had a right to be full of Himself, it would be God. He would have the right to force everyone to bow down and worship Him. However, to do that would strip us of our free will. One thing that our creator values is the power of choice. It’s one of the greatest gifts that He has given to us. It’s one of the ways that we are most like Him. We have free will. We have the power of choice. And in that power of choice, He wants us to choose Him willfully. Therefore, God is not about forcing us to acknowledge Him or how great He is.
Jesus, who is the perfect expression of who the Father is, was a very humble man. He knew who He was. He knew where He had come from. He knew what lie ahead of Him past the cross. He knew the power that He had. Yet, He didn’t force Himself on people. When He did miracles He often told people not to tell others what He had done. This is the opposite of arrogance.
When I look around at some of my fellow ministers I think that we have fallen from the example of Jesus. Our bios tell of our great exploits. The more miracles that happen in our ministries the bigger speaking venues we get. The more books we sell, the more conferences we get invited to. Before long we start to believe our own press. Not every minister is like this, I realize. But from what I have seen and what I know it happens more than it should. It’s arrogance and it is the opposite of what our Father is like.
I think that we struggle with a humble God. We expect Him to be arrogant. That’s what we have seen from those in power. Those is power often let it go to their heads. They begin to think more highly of themselves. If they came from humble beginnings, they often forget where they came from. Power can, and most of the time does, corrupt! We have come to believe that those in power wield it with arrogant motives. However, our God is not an insecure man that needs people to tell Him how powerful He is.
Jesus humbled Himself as a servant (Phil. 2). He came and gave His life as an example of what humans are to be. He was the prototype and he was humble. We should be as well.
Jesus washed His disciples’ feet as an example of humility. How’s that for an arrogant God? Leaders would never have done such a menial, humiliating task and yet here we have the God of the Universe washing His creation’s feet.
Okay so I can hear the questions in your mind: “what about God wanting our worship? Doesn’t that make Him arrogant?” While it is true that God does want us to worship Him we have to first address the question:
Did God create us to worship Him or did He create us as an expression of His love?
The answer is found in the great commandment: you shall LOVE the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength. Notice that the greatest commandment is not that you shall worship the Lord your God. No, it is you shall love the Lord your God.
The purpose of worship is to ascribe “worth-ship” to something. We actually worship, i.e. ascribe worth-ship, to things and people all the time. Don’t believe me? Look at the way we ascribe “worth-ship” to celebrities and sports stars. Look at the way we ascribe “worth-ship” to musicians and people we admire. Look at the way we ascribe “worth-ship” to money.
God is certainly more worthy of our attention, affection and love than any of these things. He could demand that we give it to Him, but He doesn’t. He wants it freely. If He was an arrogant God He would withhold things from those that withhold worship to Him. We know that He doesn’t do this because of two scriptures:
But now I tell you: love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may become the children of your Father in heaven. For he makes his sun to shine on bad and good people alike, and gives rain to those who do good and to those who do evil. (Mat 5:44-45)
“But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men.” (Luke 6:35)
Notice that He pours out blessings upon those who worship Him and those who don’t. God is secure in who He is and He is a blesser. Secure people don’t have a need to be arrogant. Arrogance and pride are always relationship killers. God is always a relationship restorer.
I close with a great quote from Darrin Hufford:
“In creating us, God showed that He Himself was willing to be exposed as a sensitive, vulnerable being with the need to connect and experience authentic closeness. And He desired it with us, knowing we would struggle to see His heart and love Him in return. But He literally stripped Himself of all glory to expose the most vulnerable parts of Himself to humanity. And all because this was simply what was required to achieve an authentic relationship.” The Misunderstood God: The Lies Religion Tells About God (p. 75). Hachette Book Group. Kindle Edition.
So, what do you think?