by Pastor Mark Jordan
“All who lift themselves up will be brought low, and those who make themselves low will be lifted up.” (Luke 18:14b, CEB)
We conclude our week-long series on What Would Jesus UNdo? So far we have looked at apathy, hollow worship, and hypocrisy. Today, we look at pride.
You might wonder what’s wrong with pride. Is it so bad to be proud of your family, your accomplishments, or your church? Not in the truest sense, but how often are we really proud in the truest sense?
Pride is sinful when we set ourselves as the standard instead of God. Pride is often circumstantial, because of our tendency to connect it to competing with others. We put value in our accomplishments as long as we’re achieving more than someone else. If we feel someone gets what we think we deserve, well, that is a nasty trap to fall into for sure. God wants you to make Him the standard, and to find comfort in who you are and conviction in your life in Christ. When God is at the center, and is your standard for living, then you can truly celebrate with others when they’re up, grieve with others when they’re down, and live in those unforced rhythms of grace…even when someone seems to have something you don’t and want.
Here are four ways to tell if you are prideful:
- Humble-Bragging: drawing attention to yourself in a way that looks like you’re trying to be humble
- Perfectionism: the need to be right dominates the need to be loving
- Entitlement: for the pampered, as well as the struggler — it’s my turn; I deserve
- Martyrdom: the appearance of humility, while actually trying to draw attention to him/herself
Leadership guru, John Maxwell, gives these four steps to help you overcome pride:
- Recognize you have a problem with pride
- Express gratitude for God’s forgiveness and mercy and put the focus back on Him
- Serve with integrity: do the right thing, even when no one is looking
- Laugh at yourself, you’ll never run out of material
Prayer: Dear Lord, forgive me for misplaced pride. Help me to find my value, dignity, and integrity in you, and not the things I want and think I deserve. I know you’ve given me all things in my salvation through Christ, so help me to celebrate that, regardless of what comes. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.