As I listened to him, I thought about Three Ways that Wealth Makes Us Arrogant.
1. We believe we did this ourselves.
Remember our desperation when we don’t have anything. When we’re wealthy, it’s easy to think, “I did this.”
God gave that warning in Deuteronomy 8:17, “Beware lest you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.'” The Israelites were slaves in Egypt just a generation before, but the Promised Land had the potential to make them arrogant as if they freed themselves and earned everything on their own.
Even as a nation, we must stay humble. As prosperity hits the Philippines, brands we never had before are coming to our nation.
Will we stay humble?
2. We feel entitled to disobey God’s laws.
People with wealth, power, and ability feel entitled to play by their own rules. We can get shortcuts and perks for almost anything, but we think that applies to God’s Word also – to our own destruction.
Solomon and Uzziah are two of the great kings mentioned in the Bible who had tragic endings at the height of their wealth. What brought them down wasn’t an elaborate trap of the devil designed only for rich kings. No, it was simple disobedience. Why did they fall for it? They were rich and powerful. The rules didn’t apply to them. And they paid the price.
Will we obey God?
3. We disregard the poor.
In Luke 16:19-31, the parable of the rich man and Lazarus, the rich man continually disregards Lazarus who just sits outside his gate. How can he do this? Maybe he thinks he earned his wealth and Lazarus must have been lazy that’s why he isn’t rich. Maybe he just can’t hear Lazarus because his sound system is so state-of-the-art.
After they both die, he still has the nerve to order Lazarus around. Why? Something about money makes us think that those who have it are better than those who don’t.
Maybe it’s talking down to waiters, nurses, or other people in the service industry. Maybe it’s belittling household help, gardeners, and drivers. Maybe it’s making fun of the way someone talks because they don’t speak with the right grammar or posh accent. If we automatically do this, even in our minds, that’s arrogance.
Will we remember the poor?
Do we see any of these signs in our lives? Beware the false hope of money. God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble. The first step to becoming humble is to acknowledge our pride.