4 ways pride can sneak into a persons life
I don’t think we ever give enough attention to the issue of pride. Sure in church we like to point out larger social impacting issues, gambling, drinking, swearing, and more. Pride is often overlooked, ignored, or avoided. But the truth is pride can be as destructive as an affair, it can be just as self-centered as theft. In fact, pride is the chief principal sin that caused satan to fall from heaven.
Ezekiel 28:11-19 (ESV)
Moreover, the word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, raise a lamentation over the king of Tyre, and say to him, Thus says the Lord God: “You were the signet of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering, sardius, topaz, and diamond, beryl, onyx, and jasper, sapphire, emerald, and carbuncle; and crafted in gold were your settings and your engravings. On the day that you were created they were prepared. You were an anointed guardian cherub. I placed you; you were on the holy mountain of God; in the midst of the stones of fire you walked. You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created, till unrighteousness was found in you. In the abundance of your trade you were filled with violence in your midst, and you sinned; so I cast you as a profane thing from the mountain of God, and I destroyed you, O guardian cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. Your heart was proud because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor. I cast you to the ground; I exposed you before kings, to feast their eyes on you. By the multitude of your iniquities, in the unrighteousness of your trade you profaned your sanctuaries; so I brought fire out from your midst; it consumed you, and I turned you to ashes on the earth in the sight of all who saw you. All who know you among the peoples are appalled at you; you have come to a dreadful end and shall be no more forever.”
4 ways pride enters our hearts today
When I’m more focused on growing my personal platform than advancing the mission of the local church:
Social media gives everyone a bigger soap box. And many are pursuing it. A constant temptation for many leaders today is to put themselves ahead of the mission of the local church. Above all, I want to be a faithful local church pastor committed to advancing the mission of our church and helping people discover the love their Saviour has for them….personally.
But sometimes it’s easier to soak in the accolades of people you’ve never met than it is to deal with a mess you’ve created and need to work through (that’s what leadership is, right? Solving the problems you’ve helped create.) And sometimes it’s frustrating that the people who work with you every day (and live with you) are sometimes less impressed with you than the people who get a curated and edited version that ends up online. The people closest to you see your flaws. Which is why it’s so easy to run to those who don’t.
Stay grounded. Stay local. Stay honest. Stay focused
When I pursue being known more than I pursue knowing Jesus:
It’s fairly well known that many ministry leaders struggle with their personal walk with God. It can drift. It can even die for a season. I have to be disciplined daily to keep my relationship with Jesus fresh, alive and vibrant. Whether you want to be known and loved in your local church or a wider platform is irrelevant. When I pursue being known more than I pursue knowing Jesus, I risk everything that the Gospel is about.
When my platform outgrows my character:
Your character has to be bigger than your talent or skill set or you inevitably implode. If your ministry outgrows your character, you’re in trouble as a leader. If your platform online outgrows your character, it’s only a matter of ‘when’, not ‘if’ things begin to implode. Watching todays culture, social media makes it easier than ever for everyone to have their own platform. Everyone wants to be a writer, singer, preacher, influencer, whatever. When our character doesn’t match our calling we will self destruct. There’s an old church term we use to call this sanctification. In fact the bible often warns not to promote leaders before their time. (1st Timothy 5:22) John understood his ministry was to decrease so Jesus could increase (John 3:30) Leadership in the kingdom of God is not about self promotion, but about lifting up the name of Jesus.
- When I resist accountability:Pride resists accountability, it says “I’ve got this, I dont need help, I already know what I’m doing.” A prideful person couldn’t be more wrong. The Bible teaches that all have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God. (Romans 3:23) Every single one of us are subject to be in error. Culturally I grew up in the church, went to Bible school, studied under great pastors and leaders. Still to this day I subject myself to correction. If at any point I step out in the wrong, in my actions, in my interactions, and in my preaching and teaching, The church leadership has the right to bring me into correction. The Anointing of God, the blessing of God flows top down not bottom up. If I want to live under the blessing of the Lord, I need to submit myself to God’s Word and His established leadership. Today many people resist accountability, when they don’t agree with correction, they church hop. It’s hard to be accountable when I refuse to come under covering.
If I want to experience all that God has for me, If I want the anointing to flow through me, If I want grace in my life, it starts with an honest repenting heart. It’s a turning to Jesus, laying down ones pride, and learning to serve where you are at. You see we can either be about the Kingdom of Heaven, or the kingdom of self. The choice ultimately comes down to either humility or pride.
1 Peter 5:5-6 “Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.” Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time,”