My wife and I were having lunch recently with a Jewish couple that we have gotten to know over the last seven years. Typically our meetings are the husband drilling me on what I have learned in seminary, discussing differences of faith, and him attempting to make sure that I am not insane for wanting to move my family to South Asia to plant churches.
This man, in his late sixties, is usually open minded in our conversations, but this particular lunch went different. He immediately started telling me the history of the country I am moving to and their historic interaction with Christianity. He then said a statement that I believe captures the attitude of many people, he was just bold enough to say it, "You are going to a country where they are all born and raised Hindu, therefore they will all die Hindu; you were born and raised a Christian, therefore you will die a Christian."
He then proceeded by saying, "Tell me, do you think that you have something that they don't... that you are better than them?" The next few moments were me and my wife explaining that we do not believe that you are born into a religion and die in that religion, but that it is by God's grace alone that either one of us is a follower of Christ and that we simply want to go to South Asia to allow the people there to have the same opportunity to hear the message of the gospel.
My wife responded with the analogy of a doctor discovering the cure for a disease such as cancer and then keeping it to himself. She said, "Anyone in their right mind would want this doctor to announce to the world the cure for this awful disease and not keep it to themselves." She proceeded to tell this man that in the same way we do not believe we are better than anybody because of following Christ, but that we do believe it is the truth and the only cure for sin, therefore we want to tell everyone that we can this message of salvation. (This is definitely one of those proud moments as a husband)
He thought this over for a moment and although it was obvious that he did not necessarily like what he just heard or agree with the statement, there was at least something that he appreciated in our conversation. He looked up as if finished with the questions and said, "You guys are going to do alright, you know why, because you guys are humble in your message."
Although I pray for the salvation of Jews just as I do for Hindus, but what this man hit on during our lunch was that arrogance will automatically close people off to hearing whatever it is you have to say, especially the gospel. This got me thinking about the numerous conversations that I have had with people that the number one reason they wouldn't even consider Christianity is the intolerance or arrogance that they witness.
It dawned on me at that moment that humility trumps arrogance in the life of a Christian. And perhaps the reason some people won't give a listening ear to the gospel has more to do with you than them because of your arrogance. So if you find yourself being arrogant as a Christian, STOP, repent, and go to the people you have been sharing the gospel with in love and humility.