It is not at all unusual for a chosen and anointed one of Jehovah to become proud and presumptuous, although having previously been humble. For example, Jehovah chose young Saul out of all the men in Israel to become king over his people Israel. Why Saul? What special quality did Jehovah see in him? The Bible tells us that "Saul was not only the most handsome man in Israel, but he was also the most imposing, standing taller than all others." (1 Samuel 9:2; The Voice) Was it because of his physical appearance that God chose Saul? No, not entirely, for there was something more important that Jehovah saw in him, as Samuel later reminded Saul: “Is it not true that even though you were small (insignificant) in your own eyes, you were made the head of the tribes of Israel?" (1 Samuel 15:17; AMP) It was Saul's humility that made him special in God's eyes; and yet, although his good looks must have made him popular with his fellow Israelites, it was God's blessings that went to his head so that he became in a short time presumptuous; for not only did he erect a monument for himself, but he also failed to carry out God's specific instructions. (1 Samuel 15:12, 22,23)
We might ask, when a previously humble person turns presumptuous and becomes self-important and rebellious, did Jehovah not see this coming? Does the Scripture not say that "he searches all hearts and examines deepest motives"? Can Jehovah be fooled? (Jeremiah 17:10; TBL) Consider another example, that of Jeroboam, a servant of king Solomon. Although king Solomon himself had been chosen by Jehovah to replace his father David upon the throne, and in spite of having been richly blessed, yet, he apostatized in his later years and built high places for his foreign wives for them to worship their foreign gods; in direct violation of God's commands. (Exodus 34:12-16; Nehemiah 13:26) As a consequence, Jehovah chose Jeroboam to give him ten of the tribes of Israel; leaving just the tribes of Judah and Benjamin to Solomon's sons. And yet, Jeroboam too rebelled against Jehovah almost immediately upon becoming king, for he invented his own religion and set up calf worship. How shocking! In fact, the ten tribes, over which God had anointed him as king, never returned to true worship; so that Jehovah brought the Assyrians against them to destroy their cities and take them into exile. (1 Kings 11:26-35; 12:25-33)
The Scripture says that "the heart is more treacherous than anything else and is desperate." And therefore asks: "Who can know it?" (Jeremiah 17:9) Surely, Jehovah can know it. But, why, then, do so many of his chosen and anointed ones―who start out good―rebel against him? Why would he choose such a person in the first place? And how can we, personally, make sure that we too don't follow in the same disastrous course of leaving Jehovah?
The apostle Paul tells us what will help us, as it did in his own case: "Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us." (Romans 12:3; NLT) Jehovah blesses his loyal servants, for he takes notice of the love we show for his name, and our love for his word of truth. Jesus said, "for, indeed, the Father is looking for suchlike ones to worship him." (John 4:23) When we enjoy God's blessings, we may interpret that as evidence of having more faith than others in our congregation. Perhaps we are reporting more time spent in the preaching work than others, which may be acknowledged by the elders from the platform. If that is true in your case, doesn't that make you feel good? especially when this is followed by applause? (that is one of the unfortunate consequence of reporting hours spent preaching) What, though, is often the result when this continues over a period of time? The person thus praised may begin to view himself as more "spiritually mature" in comparison to others, which would be a clear case of "judging" our fellow brothers―a thing Jesus warned against. (Matthew 7:1-5; Romans 14:4, 10-12; Galatians 6:4) Further, others may be drawn to such a "spiritually mature" person; which in turn may result in forming cliques, something James calls "class distinction," "rendering wicked decisions," "working a sin". (James 2:4, 9)
We can see that a good beginning in a person can turn out disastrous in the end. Jehovah does not judge us by what we might do in the future, but by the person we are right now. That is why he tells us: "When I tell righteous people that they will live, but then they sin, expecting their past righteousness to save them, then none of their righteous acts will be remembered. I will destroy them for their sins. And suppose I tell some wicked people that they will surely die, but then they turn from their sins and do what is just and right. For instance, they might give back a debtor’s security, return what they have stolen, and obey my life-giving laws, no longer doing what is evil. If they do this, then they will surely live and not die. None of their past sins will be brought up again, for they have done what is just and right, and they will surely live.” (Ezekiel 33:13-16; NLT)
Jehovah created man with the gift of freedom of choice. It is up to us to choose what we do, whether good or bad; but this freedom to choose carries with it responsibility and consequence. Jehovah wants us to choose what is good and right. Therefore he is teaching us to benefit ourselves, just like children who listen to their caring parents benefit from their guidance. (Deuteronomy 30:19,20; Proverbs 22:6; Isaiah 48:17-19) Since we are all judged and held accountable individually according to our deeds, it is up to everyone to decide for himself what sort of person he becomes; just as the Scripture says: "The intentions [arrangings, NWT] of the heart belong to a man." (Proverbs 16:1; NET; Revelation 22:12) "Keep yourselves in God's love, while you are waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ with everlasting life in view." (Jude 21)