7 Questions to Test My Ego

Pride is a subtle and seductive enemy for all of us—beginning with me. Over the years, I’ve found myself responding wrongly to some of the situations I describe below, so these questions are helpful reminders to me: 

  1. Do I ever find myself subtly bragging about the success of my ministry? I doubt many of us do that publicly and explicitly, but it’s easy at times to drop into conversations some hints of our success. 
  2. How would I respond if someone I’ve discipled sees much more fruit in ministry than I’ve ever seen? The question here is whether I’ll rejoice if someone else I’ve trained does greater things than I. 
  3. How would I respond if the most talented member of my church joins a church planting or revitalization team and leaves my church? That situation forces us to evaluate our commitment to the Great Commission and our own desire to keep the best within our reach. 
  4. How would I respond if someone I’ve discipled at some point becomes my boss? In some ways, I’m in that situation now. Keith Whitfield, my immediate boss and Provost at Southeastern Seminary, was my student 20 years ago. Today, I delight in following him—but I doubt I would have always felt that way as a younger leader. 
  5. Am I ever jealous over other ministers who get more recognition than I do? Even the most faithful of us sometimes face this green monster—especially when we think we can do things better than those who get recognized. 
  6. When I succeed at something, do I affirm others who made my success possible—or do I keep the praise to myself? None of us succeeds on our own, but we sometimes forget how much we depend on others. 
  7. Do I blame others when things don’t work out as I planned? This question is the opposite of the previous one. On one hand, ego accepts the praise; on the other, it always deflects the blame. 

What questions help you to evaluate your ego?  


  • Robin G Jordan says:

    Would I have accomplished anything without God’s guidance and help? Would I have gotten anything done without God invisibly working in me to fulfill his own purposes? Years ago I heard an elderly Black man who had raised a substantial mount of money to purchase Christmas presents for poor and needy children give God all the credit. He didn’t even humble brag. That left a lasting impression with me, an impression which has grown over time. As our Lord said, “Apart from you can do nothing….” In his second letter to the Corinthians Paul writes, “But we have this treasure in clay jars, so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us.” The clay jars to which he refers were made in a mold and had all kinds of irregularities. Archeologists excavating cities from Paul’s time find piles of shards from these jars. They were cheap and easily replaced. The original disposable ware. We are one of those jars. A sobering thought. We have nothing about which we can brag. We cannot even brag about the treasure that we contain. It is all God’s doing.

  • Jesus has used this quote from Elizabeth Elliott to convict my heart of pride. “The best way to find out whether you really have a servant’s heart is to see what your reaction is when somebody treats you like one.” – Elizabeth Elliot

  • charles kile says:

    What questions help you to evaluate your ego? Many moons ago my community singles ministry was one of the largest in North Carolina with 200 singles monthly with over a 100 churches, 2 coed singles bible studies weekly, 2 single women bible studies weekly, 6 summer cook out events, monthly teaching gatherings and a summer outreach. Then I watch it crash and burn. I lost control. My ego became more important than my relationship to God. My actions damaged other ministries.

    Questions to evaluate my ego is I already have 270 singles without church homes and 770 singles from 423 different churches. What to do with them? I need to limit my church network to 12 churches. I need to limit a community gathering to 35 singles monthly and limit singles community bible study in a public place to 12 singles and only do 60 additional events,

    I have to have limits to evaluate my ego

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