Are You Arrogant or Humble?

A.  Arrogance

Arrogance Defined Webster

An attitude of superiority manifested in an overbearing manner or in presumptuous claims or assumptions.

Words that indicate arrogance: Webster

Synonyms: haughtiness, imperiousness, loftiness, lordliness, masterfulness, peremptoriness, pompousness, presumptuousness, pretense (or pretence), pretension, pretentiousness, self-importance, superciliousness, superiority

Related Words: authoritativeness, bossiness, dominance, high-handedness; condescension, disdain, scorn; snobbery, snobbishness, snobbism, snootiness; cheek, cheekiness, impertinence, impudence, sauciness; boastfulness, bombast, braggadocio, swagger, vain-gloriousness, vainglory; cockiness, complacence, conceit, egoism, egotism, pride, pride-fullness, self-centeredness, self-conceit, self-satisfaction, smugness, vanity

3.   The cause of arrogance

There are seven causes of arrogance: education, piety, lineage, beauty, strength, wealth, achievement (popularity). All these seven qualities are in themselves positive and good.

The misuse of these seven qualities leads to arrogance in a person’s attitude toward others.

4.   How to spot an arrogant person

    • Pay attention to their conversations. Do they think they are always right?

    • Are they quick to place blame when things do not go their way?

    • Do they seem to have a strong need to look good or proper in the eyes of others?

    • Are they aggressive or passively aggressive towards other people’s views?

    • Do they judge others prior to investigation?

    • What is the quality of their ability to be a true friend?

    • Do they (privately or publicly) give the impression of being superior towards others they perceive to be less fortunate?

    • Are they stuck on themselves?

    • How do they treat those not like themselves?

    • What is their personality like?

    • Do they put down people they do not like?

    • Do they seek personal gain at the expense of others even when pretending to be helpful?

    • Do they talk about others personal situations behind their back?

5.   How to know if you are already arrogant

Arrogant people will often put others down, judging and criticizing them. They may joke about them and make fun of them, bashing them with sarcasm.

  • Do you dismiss the idea there are still improvements that you can make to your own ideas and opinions?

  • Do you reject, avoid, or do not respond to questions that ask question from a different view than yours and believe that other people “just don’t understand?”

  • Do you, when challenged about your ideas or opinions seek to defend or justify and cease to listen objectively?

  • Do you do the majority of talking during an interaction with another person?

  • Do you take your marbles and go home if you do not get your way?

  • Do you look for people to blame, rather than accepting responsibility for your own actions or words?

  • Do you let people know your time is precious and behave as if their time is of little consequence?

  • Are you unwilling to receive personal feedback on your own performance, ideas, opinions, or understanding thinking that you are more knowledgeable?

  • Do you keep things secret from or do not respond to others with complete honesty?

  • Do you question others motives when they disagree with your plans, thoughts, actions or speech?

  • Do you refuse to acknowledge the possibility of views that differ from yours when addressing an issue?

  • Do you criticize others when you do not get your way?

  • Do you want others to play by your rules but refuse to play by the same rules others must follow?

  • Do you always have to win or be right – others must be wrong?

  • Do you secretly wish others would just shut up or not share a difference of opinion?

  • Do you tell others if they do not like it your way to leave and go somewhere else?

  • Do you ridicule or gossip about those who disagree with you or who criticize your actions, thoughts, or opinions?

  • Do you discount others opinions while pointing out that you know better than they do or you have done more, or you are smarter, or you are wiser than they are?

  • Do you interrupt others when they are speaking?

  • Do you show off and brag?

  • Do they constantly talk about other people’s problems?

  • Do you always compare every situation with something you experienced?

6.   Biblical Arrogance

Proverbs 8:13 “To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.” (NIV)

Proverbs 11:2 “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.” (NIV)

Proverbs 13:10 “Pride only breeds quarrels, but wisdom is found in those who take advice.” (NIV)

Proverbs 16:18 “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” (NIV)

Proverbs 29:23 “A man’s pride brings him low, but a man of lowly spirit gains honor.” (NIV)

Romans 1:28-32 “Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.” (NIV)

B.  Humility

1.   Humility Defined Webster

The quality or state of being humble.

2.   Humble Defined: Webster

Not proud or haughty: not arrogant or assertive.

3.   Words that indicate humility: Webster

Synonyms: demureness, humbleness, lowliness, meekness, modesty, retiringness

Related Words: ademureness, humbleness, lowliness, meekness, modesty, retiringnesscquiescence, compliance, deference, resignedness, submission, submissiveness; ingenuousness, naïveté (also naiveté); directness, plainness, simpleness; bashfulness, diffidence, passiveness, passivity, quietness, reserve, reservedness, shyness, timidity, timidness

4.   How to spot a humble person

  • They do not presume that they know everything.

  • They accept ordinary deficiencies with good will without feeling threatened or needing to say something about it.

  • They ask questions because this is the way of wisdom

  • They wait for an invitation.

  • They do not presume their understanding of living life is the only way to understand life.

  • They are good receivers and listen without defense or prejudice.

  • They do not devalue others that disagree with them.

  • They look first at their part in situations.

  • They can laugh at themselves without diminishing others.

  • They own up to their mistakes without justification or defense.

5.   How to know if you are becoming humble

  • You appreciate your own skills without boosting.

  • You conduct honest evaluations of yourself often; accepting yourself as you are.

  • You understand your limitations.

  • You recognize your own faults and take action to correct them.

  • You stop comparing yourself to others.

  • You honestly appreciate the talents and qualities of others.

  • You are not afraid to make mistakes.

  • You are not afraid to acknowledge your mistakes.

  • You are afraid to defer to others’.

  • You revitalize your sense of wonder so you can continue to learn and mature.

  • You seek guidance.

  • You think about yourself under different circumstances than superior than others.

  • You are of real unselfishness help to others.

  • You strive to remain teachable.

  • You practice gentleness and true compassion to others 24/7.

6.   Biblical Humility

James 4:10-17 “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. 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. There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you– who are you to judge your neighbor? Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil. Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.” (NIV)

7.   Consider the biblical qualities of a humble person

  • The humble person submits to the will of God.

  • The humble person acknowledges their mistakes.

  • The humble person is sad over their defiance to God and others.

  • The humble person refuses to speak evil of others.

  • The humble person does praise themselves concerning what they plan to do or what they have already done.

  • The humble person does not take pride in his “holiness” but understands how far short they really are from true righteousness.


Compare these qualities of arrogance and humility to your own life.

How do you match up?

  1. Do you practice humility or do you practice arrogance?

  2. Choose the person you really want to be in life and actively work on becoming this person.

  3. Honestly, inventory yourself (attitudes, actions, words, etc…) often or at least monthly.

  4. Ask for God’s help.

  5. Determine how you will practice humility daily.

Guy Lewis
Payson, Arizona
Started: Monday, May 24, 2010
Completed: Sunday, June 20, 2010


One thought on “Are You Arrogant or Humble?

  1. Hi,
    I find this article very beneficial! Thanks a lot!
    Where did you get the seven causes of arrogance? What is your source?

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