Love and Arrogance, or Pride - David Mitts

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. (1Co 13:4-8)
Click here to listen to "Love and Arrogance, or Pride"

We have been sharing about love as the essential life key for a successful life, fulfilling our destiny.  Prophecies as great as they are, yet by their nature, time-limited.  If I prophesy something about your future and you come into agreement with that prophecy, it can twist your perspective towards that outcome.  By the nature of prophecy, even true God-inspired prophetic utterances, they invoke a reality shifting perspective.  Take the prophecies about Yeshua.  Why were the Pharisees deceived? Well besides their predisposition to political power, which we all have, they also twisted the prophecies into their understanding.  Their understanding was colored by their agenda.   So even when the prophecy occurred, they didn’t recognize it.  So it is with any prophetic word.
Am I saying we shouldn’t prophesy? No! Of course not!  The Spirit of Messiah, the Holy Spirit is not limited to one point in time as we are and so prophecy is a naturally, super-natural part of the life of the spirit.  What we need to realize though, is that the power to accomplish the destiny hinted at in the prophecy is love.  If the Pharisees truly loved God and the people, they would have welcomed Yeshua.
Love never fails.
Today, I want to look at the relationship between love and pride.  Pride or arrogance and its fruit boastful speech is a major hindrance to love operating in our lives.  Let’s ask a few key questions.
What is pride?
What is boldness?
How are they related?
What is the source of pride?
What is the source of boldness?
How do we move from pride into authentic boldness?
First, what is pride? Noah Webster defines it as:
  • Inordinate self-esteem; an unreasonable conceit of one's own superiority in talents, beauty, wealth, accomplishments, rank or elevation in office, which manifests itself in lofty airs, distance, reserve, and often in contempt of others.
  • The key is to see that it is inappropriate evaluation of oneself
  • Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. (Gal 5:26)
  • Pride is all about self-protection and self-promotion
Pride is one of the choices that our heart can take when we are operating in the heart condition of fear.  Pride is the heart condition that is based in lack.  I don’t know who I truly am so I have to posture myself through pride.  Pride reveals the lack of true peace in my heart.  When I am in peace, I don’t need to be in pride.  When I am out of peace, I feel the fear-based need to get back to peace and the flesh offers me the lies of pride.  These lies involve comparison, the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
In pride, I am trying to prop myself up by finding my uniqueness through comparison, not through identity in Him.  After teaching us to renew of minds and hearts in the Lord, the Apostle Paul tells us the distinction between pride and true identity in Him which is by grace: Romans 12:3-8
For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. (Rom 12:3-8)
These are what we call the redemptive gifts.  They are the equipping of the Spirit for the oneness of the body. They are rooted in the heart and mind condition of love.
So, pride is fear-based. Identity through love, honor, and respect is love-based!  This produces the heart condition that pride mimics or counterfeits, known as boldness.  
Boldness and pride can seem similar on the outside, but because they come from a different spiritual source, they operate totally different.  What really tests the difference is criticism.  Pride is always defensive and impatient with criticism.  Pride is rooted in fear and the ultimate fear is that the kingdom built by pride will fall.  I have witnessed this several times in my life.  Pride’s kingdom is anti-God and self-determined at its core and thus vulnerable to the voice of the accuser, its chief advocate, Lucifer.
Turn with me to Isaiah 14:
How you have fallen from heaven, morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! You said in your heart, "I will ascend to the heavens; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of Mount Zaphon. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High." But you are brought down to the realm of the dead, to the depths of the pit. (Isa 14:12-15)
In the King James, the word morning star is translated Lucifer.  The Hebrew is Heylel and is actually shining one. (like Hallal).   Yeshua described him as: And He said to them, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. (Luk 10:18).  Paul says: And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. (2Co 11:14)
Like pride itself, there is a radiance of the prideful one.  Yet all that “light” is built on darkness, a lie embedded in the heart.  
Boldness, is the confidence that comes from knowing who we truly are and whose we truly are. Boldness is actually a product of peace and grounded in love. The picture of boldness is Heb 4:16:
Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Heb 4:16)
Boldness implies intimacy and trust, the conditions of love.  We can come to our Father’s throne of grace with boldness because there is a confidence born of our recognition of depth and power of His love which had made the way.  Fear is what would keep us away.  Fear is rooted in feeling a threat or a danger.  When we realize that God has given it all, His best so we can approach Him in peace, then we can come in boldness.
What keeps us from boldness and slips us over into arrogance even in our relationship with God is shame. Shame causes us to feel rejection and rejection triggers the feelings of shame.  To provide our own covering for the feelings of shame, our fig leaf is pride or arrogance.  We put on a happy face, a pride-centered face.  Now I don’t mean everyone can tell we are in pride.  The outwardly arrogant are easy to see.  There is also an inward pride that looks from the outside like humility.  How do we know if we have it? We know by how we respond to criticism.  If our worth, our value, is derived from the opinions of others, then we react to criticism with defensiveness, or our own covering, which is derived from pride and ultimately shame and rejection. Can you see it?
Boldness, in contrast, is the place of confidence in Him.  It isn’t just a mental assent.  It is a heart condition of knowing that we are accepted and celebrated in Him and by Him.
How do we get there? Well, it is a process.  I’m not there but I am more there than I was yesterday.  I have to keep my eyes of my heart on the finished work of my salvation.  Yeshua didn’t die just so when I die I’ll avoid hell and skate into glory! No. He died to get hell out of me now.  Hell is the abode of pride or better yet in pride, I am allowing hell to live in my heart.   When I get triggered and defensive over an opinion, I have stepped out of the peace and love of God and into hell in my heart which looks like pride.
What I have to do is appropriate by faith the purpose of the cross experience of my Messiah.  His death on the cross wasn’t just death.  No, it also included my shame and my pride, my feelings of rejection.  One of the principalities, spiritually of this time we live in, that is driving the world is rejection. Victims are everywhere. Just waiting to be triggered and outraged. It begins in the womb with abortions and unwanted, or rejected pregnancies.  It continues into childhood with abandonment by a generation of fathers who even if they don’t leave physically, they leave emotionally into the cocoon of work or hunting or bowling or video games. Then we have sexual abuse, a rejection of personhood and objectification of our children.  There is no more hurtful way to reject someone than to abuse them for our own shame.  We have broken friendships, church splits, broken marriages, mass shootings and so forth.  I know I am going through this quickly but you get the point.  Shame and rejection are rampant. No wonder that pride is run amok.
What’s the answer? The cross.  Not the physical cross but the whole sacrifice of Yeshua in every detail.  Isaiah defines the fullness of the cross:
He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. (Isa 53:3)
He was despised and rejected by men.  Rejection was part of the atonement.  Why? Because rejection is the root issue between us and love.  It is the fear of rejection that keeps us from living in love.  To cover it up, we try pride or its twin, false humility.  Both are trying to put a band-aid over the gaping wound of rejection. We try religion, which is just a way to make our pride a group thing.  
He was a man of sorrows and grief.  Grief and sorrows come from loss of something of value.  We grieve over beauty lost.  Rejection speaks to us and tells us to be careful we might lose again. Fear torments us in the cage of self-provided false security. “We hid our faces from him, despised and not valued”.  This is the fear underlying rejection and pride.  We fear being shunned, losing favor in the eyes of others and being despised.
All of these feelings are behind pride and anti-love.  Pride dooms us to failure.  It is self-idolatry at the core.  We are our own pathetic little god trying in vain to control our lives.
The good news is Yeshua experienced all of that to set us free into boldness.  Like any truth of the gospel, it is there for us as a promise of a power.  The power is to be able to come boldly to the throne of grace.  At the throne of grace, free from shame and rejection, we receive the help we need in time of need.  Because our heart has received the gift of salvation and we surrender ourselves into God, we now have faith in Him and His love is released in and through our lives.  
This produces a confidence in life that is absent of pride and posturing.  It is the confident assurance what we hope for. The amplified bible expresses this beautifully in Hebrews 11:1-2:
NOW FAITH is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses]. For by [faith--trust and holy fervor born of faith] the men of old had divine testimony borne to them and obtained a good report.(Heb 11:1-2, Amplified)
Faith is not a mystical power but a surrender of self-will into a trust of God’s goodness and love that is beyond pride or false humility into the quiet confidence of true and authentic boldness.

Activation: Boldness versus Pride
Diagnostic:  Imagine an argument you have had in the past where you felt attacked by someone else’s opinions.  Identify the accusations.  What did they say about you that made you upset?
Treatment: Take those accusations to the Lord in prayer and ask Him to show you the lies you were afraid were secretly behind the accusations.
Now, ask Him to tell you the truth through the eyes of the cross.  Ask Him, who am I in these areas.

Experience the peace, the shalom that comes from Him and regain your boldness.


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