Two people discussed a “normal” adult who is in the worst condition to be experienced. Can you resolve their dilemma? Which condition do you consider the worst?

First, they discussed the deplorable condition of the arrogant person. The arrogant are easily self-deceived. It is highly probable that the primary source for arrogance comes from specific self-deceptions. Arrogance commonly arises from two sources. Either the person is genuinely convinced he or she is superior to other people, or the person seeks to hide a sense of insecurity. Either he or she tolerates others because “my superior awareness knows and understands more than you do,” or he or she “must know and understand more than others” to evade a sense of insecurity. Arrogance is an awful master who does ugly things to its slaves!

Second, their discussion turned to the ignorant person. Ignorance does terrible things to differing types of people. Some are subjected to enormous suffering and pain in life simply because of ignorance. Others are confident their trustworthy awareness enlightens them, but their understanding is dim. Others, confident in their insights, challenge people to accept their perspectives while never realizing their unfounded assumptions. Ignorance convinces those blinded by darkness that they see. It cruelly betrays its slaves!

Third, their discussion turned to the self-centered person. A truly self-centered existence is the highest form of selfishness. The universe rotates around “me.” Relationships are about “me.” Involvements must please “me.” Commitments must be to “my” advantage. Everything must benefit “me” first and foremost. In each consideration of life, “I” must be first. If “I” do not enjoy it, if it is not fun for “me,” if it does not serve “my” purposes, count “me” out! A self-centered existence sees life through narrow, restricted glasses. If “I” am not prominent in any field of vision, something is fundamentally wrong with the view. Self-centeredness makes one a slave to poor sight!

Which is the worst state of existence: arrogance, ignorance, or self-centeredness?

May I suggest another consideration? Any condition preventing a person from depending on God is the worst state of existence. Likely all of us are afflicted with a degree of arrogance, a degree of ignorance, and a degree of self-centeredness.

God is the only One who can see us accurately for who and what we are and still love us. He accurately can see our arrogance, ignorance, and self-centeredness, and still love us enough to maintain a relationship. What disaster for anyone to separate self from the only One who can know us for who and what we are, and still love us!

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Bulletin Article, 19 January 2003

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