Previously, I’ve written about indicators that your pride might be getting out of hand. All of us wrestle with ego (and if you say you don’t, well . . . ). Especially as Christian leaders, we need to take the necessary steps to guard against ego. Consider these:
- Read the Word every day. The Bible has a way of pointing out our arrogance. In fact, not reading the Word is a subtle expression that “I don’t need to hear from God regularly.” That’s pride.
- Spend 15 minutes daily considering the greatness of God. Use a systematic theology book to study His attributes. Sing your favorite praise chorus. Read Bible stories of His power. Fall on your face each day, and pray humbly to Him.
- Know that pride is the sin of the devil. He sought the highest place in heaven (Isa 14:12-14, 1 Tim 3:6), and he seeks to draw all leaders into the trap of ego. He’s subtle enough that he wants us to be arrogant and not recognize it – and certainly not confess it.
- Ask your spouse to be honest with you. Nobody knows our issues more than our spouses do. Let your spouse just talk to you – while you only listen. Defensiveness = arrogance.
- Enlist an accountability partner. Honesty that unpeels the layers of our sinful heart also uproots our pride. Give somebody permission to point out every ounce of ego in your life.
- Ask this question: “If my children walked in my shoes, living exactly like I live, would I be happy with that?” Usually, our answer to that question humbles us.
- Regularly serve somebody who can give you nothing in return. Feed the hungry. Visit the prison. Minister in a nursing home. Even if your ministry has “outgrown” this kind of work, do it anyway. If you consider it beneath you, arrogance is a serious problem.
- Take an entire day to confess your sin. When you wake up, ask God to show you every sin of your heart until you lie down again that night. I promise you that He will work over your pride.
- Invite professional review – and rebuke. If you’re a preacher, ask another preacher to review your sermons. If you’re a small group leader, ask another leader to evaluate your work. If you sing, ask somebody who’s gifted musically to give you an assessment. Again, just listen.
- Every week, honor somebody else. Recognize a staff member. Write a Facebook post about a faithful Christ follower. Take a quiet servant leader to lunch. Send a note to someone who’s made a difference in your life. Do what it takes to get your eyes off self.
We’re all in this struggle. What suggestions would you make?