10 Signs We Might Think We’re More Important than We Are

To be honest, I don’t know any leaders who don’t struggle at some point with ego. The problem is that ego is like a trickle of water—what starts out small erodes the surface a bit, grows in volume, and creates a problem before we ever recognize it happening. Here are some signs of a growing ego, to which we’re all susceptible (beginning with me. . .):

  1. We quietly weave our achievements into conversations. We don’t want to make a show of ourselves, but we don’t want anyone to miss what we’ve done, either.
  2. We tweet about our accomplishments. Even a tweet that starts out as thanksgiving to God can be a backhanded way to brag.
  3. We get angry when we’re not invited to significant meetings. It’s hard for us to fathom why we wouldn’t be included; after all, we have much to offer.
  4. We drop names whenever possible. The names we drop may be someone we’ve met only once, but no one else needs to know that minor detail.
  5. We initiate “useful” relationships with others we think are important. Not only do we want to be associated with them, but we also view them as a means to meet others.
  6. We talk more about ourselves than others when we pray. Our requests are often self-centered, and they precede our requests for others.
  7. We’re seldom wrong. Even when it seems that we are, we have an explanation that protects our ego.
  8. We’re quick to point out the faults of others. Name any person we know, and we can come up with at least one weakness we’ve seen.
  9. We don’t listen to our spouse’s critique. We ignore even the person who loves us most.
  10. We already have a plan to climb the ministry ladder. Wise planning makes sense, but some of us are already planning ways to arrive on the mountain of celebrity. 

Use this list to evaluate your own life. Press hard to be faithful to God, and seek His blessing to help grow the kingdom – but be ever aware of these warning signs. 

7 Comments

  • Robin Jordan says:

    This is a problem not just confined to church leaders. I can think of a number of public figures who suffer from over-inflated egos and worse, who are always “blowing their own trumpet” as my grandparents used to say, who always blame others when things go wrong and never accept responsibility for their mistakes, who are harsh and unforgiving in their criticism of others, lash out at others with little, if any, provocation, who hold deep grudges, and evidence other manifestations of what Paul described as the “works of the flesh” while displaying very little, if any, evidence of what he described as the “fruit of the Spirit.”

  • Landon Coleman says:

    This is a great, helpful, convicting list. Thanks for posting!

  • Dr. Tate Cockrell says:

    Well . . . this was incredibly convicting. Thanks for a great post Chuck.

  • Tim Aagard says:

    You missed a few that are baked into the system of ecclesiastical leadership structures.
    1. We claim an elevating spiritual title. We know the words of Jesus that say not to and that we are “all brothers”. We know the scripture that has been used for 500 years to nullify the words of Jesus. We don’t bother to fix the contradiction and talking out of both sides of our mouth.
    2. We claim the “call of God” to dominate the expression of truth every Sunday in the “worship” hour, and other times often. We know the scripture that calls for every believer to participate in truth expression, but that is easy to marginalize to an optional program – if it’s even offered. Everyone seems to like the current practice, at least the ones that continue coming.
    I’ll stop with two. We don’t realize that Jesus I systematized to be less important than he is when men practice these disobedient practices that are claimed to be godly. I know it’s hard to interact about these but that is part of God’s design that shows we are devoted to one another in brotherly love.

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