A Measure of Conceit
What danger is there in a measure of conceit? How treacherous is a dose of jealous vanity? When we consider ourselves more highly than we ought, success becomes the consummation of ambition and talent. We strive to discover our gifts, work hard, and become someone. We become one above others, recognized by peers and revered by pupils. We see success as a virtue, a vertical ascent above the rest. We find this stratum less crowded, unfettered by the same boundaries and congestion. We live free for freedom's sake and celebrate our elevation with indemnity, accountable to our own accomplishment.
What danger is there in a measure of conceit?
The love of self is the hatred of others. It is a pathway toward indulgence and blindness. Indulgent because we invest alone and blind because every face becomes our face, and every thing becomes our thing. We bite and devour each other in order to gratify the love of self; we are incapable self-satisfaction and must take from others. This is the distance of death whose first steps are measured in conceit.
We are incapable of self-satisfaction and must take from others.
But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh, rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.
Let us not become conceited.
The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited.
An exposition of Galatians 5.