From Mark, Chapter 9: “If anyone wishes to be first, he shall be the last of all and the servant of all.” This is a true Christian quote; one I have heard more times than I could ever count. And yet, it is a lesson that so many in America have not grasped — especially today’s teenagers and young adults. Now, I don’t mean to pick on those in this age group, just stating a fact that I have witnessed with my own children as well as with those I have worked with in youth ministry programs.
To live this passage, arrogance can not be part of your life. What exactly is arrogance you might ask? Well, according to the Merriam – Webster online dictionary, arrogance is an attitude of superiority manifested in an overbearing manner or in presumptuous claims or assumptions. Hmmm – an attitude of superiority. Probably a lot like the head motion and attitude in many teenagers voices when they think an adult is being ridiculous. Or maybe an eyeroll … or two… or three… It could even include the “listening” an older teen does to the wisdom of the parent on a subject, the head nod acknowledging not that they agree but that they have heard you followed by the complete snub that “your” way is not even to be considered. It includes the attitude that they know what they know and we are the ignorant ones. Need I go on? I could for quite a while yet without running out of examples from my own children.
And yet — my kids are good kids. We are homeschoolers and I know from experience that they do not have the attitude that most of their peers in the school systems have. But, that does not take away that arrogance which is so prevalent these days within the youth of our times. Whether they got that way after adults are displayed on TV as total idiots or whether they have just always been arrogant, the reality is that they are. All children are.
I believe that arrogance is connected with pride and self-esteem. If one thinks highly of themselves they usually think lowly of others. With time and experience, humility is forced upon them. Life is like that. Whether we as parents force that humility or whether their peers or experiences do. Eventually, humility appears and we realize that we aren’t perfect and are in reality, helpless without God. If we have arrogance, God says we serve. Hmmm, now how to put that to work within the family dynamics — that is the question.