And you were dead in your trespasses and sins... by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:1,8-10
Pastor Matthew said something about arrogance recently that resonated with me. In essence, he said arrogance is sin, no matter which side of the coin you're looking at. It's arrogance when we don’t think we are in need of the hand of God, and it's the same sin of arrogance when we think we're too far gone for the hand of God to help us.
I don't know about you, but I've wasted a lot of time comparing myself to family members over the years, seeing the same faults in me that I saw in them. I played the comparison game long enough that I allowed myself to believe genetics were inescapable and I would never really overcome them...I was doomed to go the way of the same pitfalls. But if you would have asked me if those thoughts were arrogant, I would have laughed. To me, arrogance and confidence always went hand in hand. Maybe you can relate, but I wouldn't have labeled myself as someone who struggled with over-confidence. If anything, my struggle would have definitely been lack of confidence. And lack of confidence is the same as humility, right, so I was all good? Enter the book of Ephesians.
Ephesians 2 reminds us that we are given freedom over death. And the truth is, all sin brings death (Romans 6:23)...death to our hearts, death to our hope, death to our joy and peace. But by His great grace we have been saved, His free gift, so we can have the power to walk out His good plans for us in freedom. I love that our Jesus longs to bring us freedom. He died for it. Not only freedom from death, once and for all on the cross, but I can testify that He daily brings me freedom from myself: my own thoughts, my own desires, my own heart. He knows our hearts better than we know them ourselves (Psalm 139), and He can save us from any sin, even when it seems hopeless. Even the tricky ones like arrogance, that we may not see because we've renamed it humbleness. So I want to encourage you this week to pray with me a prayer like David's: "Search me O God and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! See if there be any offensive way in me. And lead me in the way everlasting" (Psalm 139:23-24). We were dead, but when we invite Him to daily search our tricky hearts, He is faithful to help us walk freely in the life He made us for.