After a recent encounter with a 17 yr. old gone south, I’m reminded how much I hate arrogance. Webster defines arrogance as, “an attitude of superiority manifested in an overbearing manner or in presumptuous claims or assumptions.” You see, it’s an attitude…a mental position that comes out as overbearing. At the center of this mental position is ego (self) that is inflated with an unnatural confidence born out of compensation or fear.

Arrogance is a mask that is designed to keep people from seeing the real person. For anyone with time on the planet measured in decades, the illusion that we are the best – AT ANYTHING – has long since faded. With that comes a realization that anything positive that comes from one’s effort is a blessing bestowed because we’ve seen how horribly wrong things can also go when we get involved.

I’ve had the incredible blessing in my life to have men that cared for me deeply spend the time and risk the relationship to instill in me humility. At times, those lessons hurt and were unappreciated. Other times, there were exactly what I needed to hear. Regardless of how I took them, the wisdom of these men took hold to some degree because at 36, I “get it” – at least more than I did. Life isn’t about me – it’s about others and arrogance gets in the way.

Knowledge is the realization it’s raining. Wisdom is the sense to come in out of it. So, here’s the question: are you driving a wedge between yourself and the world because you’re afraid they might get too close and see your dirty underwear and therefore not love you? Don’t answer now – think about it…it takes time to process. If the eventual answer has even a hint of “yes,” then it’s time to get some new tapes playing and the first one starts like this:

God loves you. Did you hear me? The creator of the known and unknown universe loves YOU. He knew about your dirty underwear and He still sent His Son to die so you could have life – right here; right now; and for all eternity. Wrap your noodle around that and you’ll stop caring what other people think about you and the need for the mask will go away. You’ll finally be free from shame and letting people get close will be met with joy rather than fear. Want to know more about how God loves you, read the book of Ephesians from the Bible – it’s a great place to start.

You don’t have to hide any more – arrogant isn’t something you want to be in the list of adjectives that describe you. It’s ugly and a horrible state of mind. It’s also unnecessary and wastes opportunities to build meaningful bridges rather than strapping C4 to them and pushing the plunger. Joy awaits, but it starts with coming in out of the rain…