Return to Study of the Tongue
Sunday, June 25, 2006 am
A STUDY OF THE TONGUE 9
Sins of Arrogance
We are continuing our study of the tongue. We have outlined a large list of numerous sins of the tongue. In this lesson we will conclude our list of sins committed by the tongue ( but in our next lesson we will note sins of silence).
I. The Problem of arrogance
What is arrogance? What is pride?
Arrogance is defined as, “an attitude of superiority manifested in an overbearing manner or in presumptuous claims or assumptions.” (Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary)
It is a natural byproduct of ungodly pride. Pride actually has two different definitions, “1. Inordinate self-esteem, CONCEIT; 2. A reasonable or justifiable self-respect.” (Webster).
Christians need the latter, but must avoid arrogant pride. Cf. Romans 12:3 (too highly).
b. Arrogance in the Bible
i. There are many examples of arrogance in the Bible: Naaman thought he was too good to wash in the Jordan river to be cured of his leprosy (2 Kings 5:11-13), 2 Chornicles 26:16-19 records the arrogance of King Uzziah as he tried to offer sacrifice to the Lord (which he was not authorized to do; Haman in Esther was arrogant demanding that Mordecai and others bow down to him; Nebechudnezzar was a great king in Babylon, but he was also arrogant and failed to glorify God (until He humbled him) – Daniel 4:30-34); Acts 12:21-23 records one of the Herods in arrogance accepting worship; Finally you have the Laodiceans who thought they were rich and needed nothing (Revelation 3:17). Many more could be added to these, but in these we find examples of why we should NOT be arrogant. And the ultimate example – the Pharisee who stood in the temple praying (Luke 18:11)
ii. In the prophets, as they spoke of judgment, both against Israel & Judah, as well as their neighbors, arrogance was often given as a reason for their punishments – cf. Isa. 13:11. Jeremiah 48:29 (Moab),. Obadiah 3 (Edom).
iii. “There is a generation that curses its father, And does not bless its mother. There is a generation that is pure in its own eyes, Yet is not washed from its filthiness. There is a generation—oh, how lofty are their eyes! And their eyelids are lifted up. There is a generation whose teeth are like swords, And whose fangs are like knives, To devour the poor from off the earth, And the needy from among men.” Prov. 30:11-14 
iv. 2 Corinthians 12:20, Paul feared coming to them lest, “I shall not find you such as I wish; lest there be contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, backbitings, whisperings, conceits, tumults…”
HOW does God view the arrogant?
Proverbs 8:13, hated by God, “The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverse mouth I hate.”
Proverbs 16:5, “Everyone proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord; Though they join forces, none will go unpunished.”
1 Peter 5:5 says, “God resists the proud…”
c. Christians are to be humble people.
i. Humility is a lowly state. It describes one who truly realizes his place and his lot in life. He does not exalt himself above others so as to look down upon them. He sometimes steps back to allow another to gain the glory. He is content with what he has – and thus he is not a complainer or envious.
ii. 1 Peter 5:5 says, “Be clothed with humility, for God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
iii. Proverbs 15:33, “The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom, and before honor is humility.”
iv. Philippians 2:3 says, “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.”
d. When our humility fails us and we begin to let sinful pride creep in, the next thing we know, our tongues begin to utter words that ought not be said. Which brings us to these sins of arrogance.
II. Sins of arrogance
– Perhaps the most prevalent sin
of arrogance with the tongue. Boasting is prideful bragging. It is one who
thinks too highly of himself (Rom. 12:3) AND he lets everyone else know how good
he is. He parades his strengths (or perceived strengths) before others in
order to belittle them in his sight. Often times he over-inflates his abilities
and deceives himself into thinking he is better than he really is.
Boasting is an unchristian attitude – James 4:13-16 where James tells his subjects to think about God as they make plans. Note vs. 16 especially.
It is listed in 2 Timothy 3:2 as describing the ungodly attitudes of self-absorbed men. Also found in the list of Romans 1:30 as those who reject God and follow their own ways.
Galatians 5:26 says, “let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.”
The NASV uses the term, boastful. The KJV says, “be desirous of vain-glory” (a pretty good description)
James 3:5 in describing the tongue – one of the sins specifically mentioned is boasting.
Love does not parade itself.
1 Corinthians 13:4 in describing love says, it is NOT puffed up.
NOTE: Boasting is not to be mistaken with confidence. We ought to be confident with our abilities. The difference is found in one’s attitude and actions. Galatians 6:4 speaks of examining your own works and then you “will have rejoicing in himself alone.”
AND there are passages where boasting is used in a good sense. For example: 2 Corinthians 1:14 – Paul boasted in them and they could boast in him.
Also Galatians 6:14, “But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross or our Lord Jesus Christ…” IN these passages, notice how one is accurately proclaiming the praises of another.
– The phrase is defined as, “talk with no beneficial purpose and is thus idle
and meaningless.” (WS Dictionary) The 3 times it is used in the Bible, it
is attached to false teachings which often emanate from those trying to make a
name for themselves. They speak in ignorance and with incoherent thoughts (i.e.
they don’t know what they are talking about).
In 1 Timothy 1:6, Paul is warning of those who have strayed from the truth and engage in “idle talk” which (KJV – vain janglings).
Note also 2 Timothy 2:16 where Timothy was to shun such. Also Titus 1:10
Along with this Ephesians 5:6 says “let no one deceive you with empty words…”
speech - I place this in the
category of arrogance because excessive talkers often have an inflated view of
themselves (i.e. arrogant). It is usually one who thinks he has something he
HAS to tell you, whether you want to hear it or not (we are not speaking here of
proclaiming the truth when needed). He may be a know-it-all, who
always has an answer for everything, even though his words are usually empty and
Understand it is not the fact that one talks a great deal that makes it sinful –
Here is where Proverbs 10:19 comes in, “In the multitude of words, sin is not lacking.”
Ecclesiastes 5:3, “For a dream comes though much activity, And a fool’s voice is known by his many words.”
Prov 17:27-28, “He who has knowledge spares his words, And a man of understanding is of a calm spirit. Even a fool is counted wise when he holds his peace; When he shuts his lips, he is considered perceptive.”
NOTE: in these examples it is NOT the quantity of the words, but the content that produces the sin. BUT it is a fact that the more one speaks, the more likely they are to say something they should not.
– we must guard against looking down upon others. Christians should not be the
ones insulting, teasing, mocking and making fun of those who are different,
in a hurtful and ungodly way.
In 2 Peter 3:3, he warned that in the last day, scoffers would come. It is one who both mocks and ridicules at the idea of truth and those holding to it. (Also Jude 18)
To understand ungodly ridicule look at the way Jesus was treated. At His trial He was mocked by the soldiers (Luke 23:36), and as He taught the truth (Luke 16:14, 8:53 – when He spoke of the girl just sleeping), and concerning His prophecy about the temple (Mark 15:29).
minds. A sin of the tongue? Yes,
because there are some who only want to talk and never listen to others. And it
is clearly an example of arrogance. One with a closed mind thinks he knows
enough and doesn’t need to listen to anyone else.
We need to guard against being perceived as being closed minded. We all know those we can’t talk to because you would get more response from a wall. This becomes a sin of the tongue because such are usually the ones freely willing to voice their opinions (and bind them), but unwilling to listen to yours.
The Bible condemns the closed mind – Matthew 13:15, etc. Consider also Acts 7:57 where the audience did not want to listen to Stephen, so they cried out with a loud voice and stopped their ears.
A mild form of this is found in one who assumes what someone else is going to say (I am especially guilty of this – completing sentences of others). It can be a product of arrogance.
III. Dealing with sins of arrogance
a. Realize the damage such can cause. Arrogance drives prospects away. The “idle tongue” either turns people off, or if it is followed, leads them astray from the truth. Ridicule hurts feelings and builds walls. And the closed mind simply will NOT receive the truth.
b. If guilty, we need to REPENT.
Learn humility – We have already noted how we need
humility. God DEMANDS humility and condemns pride. In fact Proverbs 6:17 says
He hates the proud look. To help overcome arrogance, realize you don’t know it
all and maybe there is something you can learn from others.
Proverbs 27:2 says, “Let another man praise you, and not your own mouth; A stranger and not your own lips.”
d. Here more than ever, we need to learn to LISTEN! Stop for a moment before you speak and consider your words.
How many sins of the tongue could be prevented if we would just stop and think? Thus we conclude our examination of the sins of the tongue. But there is much more to consider as we weigh how we OUGHT to use the tongue. Next week, we will conclude this portion of our study by examining silence and discussing in a little more detail how to control the tongue (in each of these lessons we have briefly mentioned some points that can help us). May we carefully weigh these things and always strive to improve in all areas, thereby controlling all things in our lives.
The New King James Version. 1982 (Pr 30:11-14). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.