12 Do you see a person wise in their own eyes?
There is more hope for a fool than for them.
Oh. The Holy Spirit just told me that I'm that way sometimes. Ouch.
Did he nudge you, too? Ouch again.
Conceit can be used in the sense of a thought, or an opinion. Something that we have thought up, and carefully crafted, and that we want other people to admire. We'll tell them about it, and then sit back expectantly, waiting for them to oooh and aaaah over it (and us). We aren't thinking about Who gave us the imagination and inspiration to come up with that special idea!
Conceit can also be used in the sense of our own opinion of ourself -- an opinion in which we are elevated above the everyday, the average, the "obviously un-imaginative people that we are constantly surrounded with, and that we have to put up with, in order to get anything done." Ummm, not a good way to think about others, right?
It's sad when a Christian exhibits these tendencies. It saddens me to think that I have sometimes appeared this way to others. What is even more sad, is that we are turning people away from the faith that we wish they would find -- pushing and shoving them away, because no one wants to be around that kind of person! The things that we should aspire to, like humility, modesty, and sweetness of spirit, are far more appealing to the unsaved person that we want to reach (and more appealing to our Christian brothers and sisters, too!).
I think it might help me avoid this if I have some verses tucked into my "survival belt" . . .
Philippians 2:3 tells me: Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,
And Romans 12:3 says: For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.
I want to be a helper to the Spirit, not a hindrance!