Arrogance vs. Self-Esteem

Many people become increasingly arrogant when honors are given to them and favors are done for them. They do not know what to do with so much good fortune… Esther E: 2-3a

Too much of a good thing is not a good thing. Just as children can be spoiled by an abundance of toys, we can be glutted with too much good fortune. Young celebrities, ill-equipped for fame and all the luxuries that go with it, sometimes fall prey to arrogance.

Most of us don’t have that problem, but we can fall prey to arrogance just the same. Without gratitude, we may find ourselves feeling impatient with people who haven’t been blessed with our quick minds or healthy bodies. “If I can do it anybody can,” might be a mark of humility. On the other hand, it might reveal an expectation that what comes easily to us should come easily to others—even those who don’t have the same advantages that we do.

Ironically, arrogance can be a problem for those of us who—for whatever reason—never had the opportunity to develop healthy self-esteem. We crave approval and accolades to disprove our secret fear that we’re not as good as everybody else. That’s when praise can go straight to our heads. Unfortunately, when we’re full of ourselves, we don’t have room for anyone else and we certainly don’t have room for God. It’s been said that EGO stands for Easing God Out. You can see why.

We all have strengths and weaknesses, talents and faults. Self-acceptance grounded in God’s unconditional love and gratitude for his gifts are antidotes to false pride. With healthy humility, we can love and accept ourselves and others—warts and all.

Prayer: Loving God, create in me a grateful heart.

Reflection: When are you likely to get “full of yourself”? Why? What are some healthy ways to satisfy that need?

Copyright 2018, Barbara Hosbach

Barbara Hosbach

Barbara Hosbach

Barbara Hosbach, freelance writer, is co-chair of the CJ Chapter of the Catholic Writers Guild and member of the Catholic Press Association. Hosbach’s articles have appeared in a number of Catholic periodicals. Her latest book, Your Faith Has Made You Well: Jesus Heals in the New Testament, explores what happened when Jesus healed and what it means for us today. Your Faith Has Made You Well: Jesus Heals in the New Testament and Fools, Liars, Cheaters, and Other Bible Heroes

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