Overcoming Pride and Arrogance

Overcoming Pride and Arrogance

Overcoming Pride and Arrogance


The captain of the ship looked into the dark night and saw faint lights in the distance. Immediately he told hissignalman to send a message: “Alter your course 10 degrees south.” Promptly a return message was received: “Alter your course 10 degrees north.”
The captain was angered; his command had been ignored. So he sent a second message: “Alter your course 10 degrees south – I am the captain!” Soon another message was received: “Alter your course 10 degrees north – I am seaman third class Jones.” Immediately the captain sent a third message, knowing the fear it would evoke: “Alter your course 10 degrees south – I am a battleship.” Then the reply came: “Alter your course 10 degrees north – I am a lighthouse.”

The captain had to overcome his pride in order to avoid destroying his ship.

Text: Luke 14:7-11 “So He told a parable to those who were invited, when He noted how they chose the best places, saying to them: ‘When you are invited by anyone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in the best place, lest one more honorable than you be invited by him; and he who invited you and him come and say to you, Give place to this man, and then you begin with shame to take the lowest place. But when you are invited, go and sit down in the lowest place, so that when he who invited you comes he may say to you, Friend, go up higher. Then you will have glory in the presence of those who sit at the table with you. For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.’ ” NKJV

Aim: Only by overcoming our pride can we expect to see our Father in heaven.

Analysis of Text:

Jesus was eating in the house of one of the rulers of the Pharisees. (Luke 14:1) “Now it happened, as He went into the house of one of the rulers of the Pharisees to eat bread on the Sabbath, that they watched Him closely.” NKJV While they had been watching Him closely, He had been observing them as well. He noted how Pharisees were choosing seats of honor at the table. McGarvey informs us that seating arrangement during that time was as follows: Three tables in the shape to a flat-bottomed U. Guests sat on the outer margin of tables while inside was vacant. The central seat of each table was considered the seat of honor. These were places Pharisees were striving to occupy. Jesus observed this and decided to teach a lesson on humility.

When invited to a wedding feast, don’t sit in the chief seat. Why? Someone more honorable [important] may come in and you will be asked to move to a lesser seat. You would be shamed before everyone. Embarrassed! Instead, practice being humble and take the lowest place. Then possible you will be asked to move to a higher place.

Principles Learned:

  1. Let’s not stretch this parable to the breaking point. We should never feel self-contempt. We should possess self-respect and dignity. (Leviticus 19:18) “. . . but you shall loveyour neighbor as yourself: . .” NKJVRemember we are made in God’s image. The pride condemned here is synonymous with arrogance, conceit, self-importance.
  2. Pride is a sin. [Serious business] “A haughty look, a proud heart . . . are sin.” (Proverbs 21:4) God hates it. “. . . Pride and arrogance . . . I hate.” (Proverbs 8:13) Pride makes a man unclean. (Mark 7:21-23) “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man.” NKJV Pride in a man’s life is evidence that he is still of the world. (I John 2:15-17) “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is notin him. For all that is in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.” NKJV Work of the flesh!
  3. Pride can cause other problems. It can keep us from becoming a Christian. (Matthew 18:1-4) “3 and said, ‘Assuredly; I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.’ 4 Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.’” NKJV It can keep Christians from confessing sins, both to God and others. (I John 1:8-9) “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” NKJV (Matthew 5:23-24)“Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.” NKJV
  4. A dire need for self-examination In order to ascertain whether or not we have ever been guilty of the sin of pride, let us ask ourselves these questions, being scrupulously honest in our answers:
  • Have we ever been motivated by pride to accept an important capacity in the local congregation?
  • Have we ever declined an opportunity to serve so as to be pressed a little harder?
  • Have we ever been motivated by pride to refuse a job within the local church which seemed to be insignificant and unimportant?
  • When we were constructively criticized, did we resent it because our selfish pride had been offended?
  • Have we ever become jealous and envious when someone out-did or out-distanced us, or they were promoted and commended and we were not?
  • Have we ever pushed ourselves to the breaking point because of our pride?
  • Have we ever had difficulty appreciating what others have done, and expressing that appreciation, because of pride?
  • Have we ever been controlled by pride to the extent that we would not admit that the position we held on a given matter was wrong?
  • Has our pride ever hindered us in responding to the invitation when we really should have done so to make things right? Don’t look for pride in others until you’ve rid it in your own! Wendell WinklerSome very soul-searching questions!
  1. The Treatment for Disease of Pride We must come to a proper balanced understanding of our worth. God loves us and considers us precious. But we are mere men; we are not God. All that we have and hope to have we owe to our Heavenly Father. We are not capable of saving ourselves. This thought alone should keep pride and arrogance out of our lives.


The Holy Spirit, through the prophet Micah, left us with these words. (Micah 6:8) “He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?” NKJV Let’s follow this advice and work at cultivating humility in our lives. Instead of seeking seats of honor, let us take the lowly places among men.


Did the self-exam reveal you have a problem with pride in your life? Rid yourself of this disease by first confessing this sin before men.

Bobby Stafford August 9, 2015