Summary: Arrogance appears in our lives when we judge others and plan without God. The solution is found in the Lord.
The Cure for Arrogance
James presents a problem everyone has, arrogance, also called pride. It is a real problem when it is found in the church. Evidently it was a problem in the church at Jerusalem and at times is a problem in every church.
When I played the trumpet I noticed that each section had very different hand shakes. The trombones slide their arm forward and backward in a slide movement when the shook hands. Tuba players hugged and said hello since their instrument went around them or sat down to say hello during concert season. Flute and oboe simply annoyed others with their shrill voices. Clarinetists would move their fingers rapidly on the back of your hand. But trumpet players would grab you hand forcefully and say, "Hi, I’m better than you."
During the days when Mohammed Ali was a great boxer, he would go around in his arrogance and say that, "He was the greatest." Humility was never his strong suit. One day, back in his prime, he was on an airplane and the plane was ready to take off and the flight attendant had repeatedly told him to put on his seat belt. He finally told her, "I’m superman and superman don’t need no seatbelt." The flight attendant didn’t hesitate a minute but shot back with, "Superman don’t need no airplane either, now buckle up."
James presents a problem everyone has, arrogance, also called pride. It is a real problem when it is found in the church. Evidently it was a problem in the church at Jerusalem and at times is a problem in every church. He identifies two ways in which arrogance surfaces in our lives. Thankfully we also have the scriptures to tell us the truth.
I’m Better Than You
Brothers, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against his brother or judges him speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it. 12There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbor?
In his little book Illustrations of Bible Truth, H.A. Ironside pointed out the folly of judging others. He related an incident in the life of a man called Bishop Potter. "He was sailing for Europe on one of the great transatlantic ocean liners. When he went on board, he found that another passenger was to share the cabin with him. After going to see the accommodations, he came up to the purser’s desk and inquired if he could leave his gold watch and other valuables in the ship’s safe. He explained that ordinarily he never availed himself of that privilege, but he had been to his cabin and had met the man who was to occupy the other berth. Judging from his appearance, he was afraid that he might not be a very trustworthy person. The purser accepted the responsibility for the valuables and remarked, ’It’s all right, bishop, I’ll be very glad to take care of them for you. The other man has been up here and left his for the same reason!’"
All of us have a problem with making snap judgments about people. We stereotype according to clothing, race, sex, nationality, etc. Honestly, can any of us say we really believe the stereotypes about people? And yet we find ourselves agreeing with others about what people are.