Author Jim Collins wrote a very insightful book titled, “How the Mighty Fall.”
It is mostly about fallen leaders/companies in the corporate world, but the same principles that Collins discusses apply to Christian leadership.
Scripture has a lot to say about pride and its destructive consequences as well as the value of humility.
Proverbs 16:18 (ESV): “Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall.”
Isaiah 57:15b (ESV): “I dwell in the high and holy place and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite. “
The last thing any Christian leader wants is to fall…fall from a loving and vibrant relationship with Jesus or fall from being usable by Jesus.
Recently, my Pastor Mark Driscoll, Mars Hill Church, spoke on pride in a Sunday sermon. Here are some painful and probing questions from that teaching. The questions are essentially Mark’s and I have added a few words here and there.
Answering these questions for yourself will give you the opportunity to be honest on some tell-tale signs that you are a proud leader:
1. Do you find yourself longing for lots of attention?
2. Do you find yourself jealous or critical of those who succeed?
3. Do you always have to win at anything you do or try?
4. Have you developed a pattern of “lying” (especially in embellishing the truth)?
5. Is it hard for you to admit being wrong…to say “I’m sorry” or “It was my fault”?
6. Do you find yourself often in conflict with others on your team or to whom you report?
7. Do you often cut in front of people in line at the bank, in a store or on the freeway?
8. Do you find yourself easily upset when you are not sufficiently honored or respected?
9. Do you have a mindset/attitude of entitlement or gratitude?
10. Do you believe you are superior to most other people?
11. Do you learn from others, ask other people’s opinion or input, or do you readily assume that your ideas/decisions are always right?
Personally, I am convicted by number 7. By his grace I have begun to slow down instead of being in a hurry, which often results in cutting “in front” thinking I am more important than everybody else…pride pure and simple!
Here are three questions on the subject of “pride/humilty” that I have been wrestling with:
1. What is the difference between God-confidence and pride?
2. In what ways can insecurity be thought to be humility?
3. In what ways can security be thought to be pride?
I would love to get some “comments” on this one! Have at it!