Archive for the tag “Pride”

Award-Winning Nobody

It is amazing how pride works.

Humans love to have their ego stoked.

Why do you think Facebook is so popular? People love to have the spotlight on themselves, even if they say they don’t.

But, as the saying goes, being popular on Facebook is like being rich with Monopoly money.

The same can be said for being popular in real life or even at the top of your game.

It can all go away in an instant with a single choice or action.

Just look at all of the celebrities who have fallen from the limelight. Brett Butler, Ed McMahon, Burt Reynolds, and many others going from riches to rags. How about politicians? Political leaders such as Anthony Weiner, Gary Hart, Jack Abramoff, the “Keating Five,” or Jim Traficant, to name a few, were all removed from their positions.

Pastors and people in the ministry have to be immune, right?


The first big American religious scandal to bring about a downfall happened to Aimee Semple McPherson. Others included Mark Driscoll, Jimmy Swaggart, Jim & Tammy Faye Bakker, Henry Lyons, Peter Popoff, Thomas Wesley Weeks Jr., Ted Haggard, and Bob Coy.

A single decision can destroy a person’s credibility.

The same can happen to any of us.

I remember when I worked for Whole Foods Market and received an award. I was on top of my game. My team had shown significant increases in sales and profits. Unfortunately, through a simple, yet subtle, shift in becoming prideful, my numbers went down the following year.

Pride causes a lot of problems.

Anyone anywhere can be at the top and lose it when their pride takes over.

But pride is so easy to fall victim to.

So how do we biblically fight the sin of pride?

  • Get a right view of God.

Job 25:4-6 – How then can man be in the right before God? How can he who is born of woman be pure? Behold, even the moon is not bright, and the stars are not pure in his eyes; how much less man, who is a maggot, and the son of man, who is a worm!”

God is both superior to us and has supreme authority over us. When our view of God is incorrect, we don’t give Him the reverence He is due. Pride comes from putting ourselves above God. Start by focusing on just how great God is. Ask Him to reveal Himself to you more and more.

Isaiah 29:16 – You turn things upside down! Shall the potter be regarded as the clay, that the thing made should say of its maker, “He did not make me”; or the thing formed say of him who formed it, “He has no understanding”?

  • Change your beliefs

1 Corinthians 4:7 – For who sees anything different in you? What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it?

God wants us to be an example of His love to others. When we are prideful, we find that our pride gets in the way of showing love. Think of some of the following questions:

  1. Do you believe you are better than everyone else?
  2. Do you think the world cannot be as good without you?
  3. Do you think that what you do or your role entitle you to special favors?

Romans 12:3 – For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.

If you believe any of those questions pertain to you then you are self-serving. Having an identity in Christ is to be filled with self-denial, not self-appreciation. Scripture needs to be our guide to show us our views of ourselves.

Proverbs 25:27 – It is not good to eat much honey, nor is it glorious to seek one’s own glory.

  • Repent

Pride is one of the hardest sins to repent of. Our pride will not allow us to see the need to do it. If you are ready to repent of it, then determine the type of pride you have (self-exaltation, self-proclamation, self-justification, etc…). Once you have determined the type of pride it is, pray specifically for forgiveness.

  • Defend against the enemy

After repenting, it is very easy to fall back into pride. It is even possible to become proud of your humility. This world will do everything it can to drag you back into the pit of pride. The world believes that pride is a good thing. Ask God to transform your thoughts so that you take a right view on humility.

As a human, our flesh craves the feelings we get when we seek attention from others. We need to constantly be reminded that our sinful nature is dead. We need to ask the Holy Spirit to provide us a view on God that would be aligned with what God deserves.

Put on the whole armor of God. The only way to be prepared for pitfalls of pride is to be ready for them. Ephesians 6:14 tells us to put on the belt of truth. This belt should remind us that God is the only on deserving of honor, not us.

Spiritual warfare will never end so be prepared. God is more powerful than any spiritual attacks we will ever go through. So ask the Holy Spirit to provide you the power to rebuff the attacks and place your armor on every day.

  • Flee temptation

It is going to be impossible for all the temptation to go away completely but it is possible to significantly reduce them. It is going to take specific steps:

  1. Focus on your relationship with God. Strengthen your devotional life. Prayer and meditation is extremely important. Focus on giving God glory and humble yourself before Him.
  2. Claim God’s promises. Go through Scripture and look for pride and humility and the truth that the Word has about them. Memorize the verses. When temptation come, repeat these verses to yourself. Here are a couple to start:

Matthew 18:4 – Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

1 Peter 5:6 – Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you

  1. Establish safeguards

Make changes in your life that will reduce the temptation. For example, if you look down on those who have a lower social class than yours, serve in a homeless shelter. If it is your looks that cause you pride, then get rid of the clothes and makeup that make you beautiful. If it is your car, trade in that car for something more modest.

Ask a friend to hold you accountable.

  1. Expect to beat the sin of pride

Don’t focus on the failures of the past but focus on God’s power over sin. Give God the praise He is due.

Perfection – It’s Not For Me

Philippians 3:12 – Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.

I will be the first to admit that I am not perfect. I mean, people may look at me with my perfect hair, ripped abs, and perfectly groomed fingernails and think otherwise, but I really am not perfect. And if balding, overweight guy who bites his fingernails is your idea of perfect, then you really have low standards of perfection.

Truth of the matter is, I try to be perfect.

And that doesn’t work so well.

I try to control everything so precisely, thinking that it can’t possibly be as good as if I were to do it. I think the Bible has another word for that thought….pride.

Hi. My name is Fred Noble, and I am addicted to pride.

Proverbs 11:12 – When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom.

Pride causes us to do things that we wouldn’t normally do. It causes us to judge others quickly. It causes us to see ourselves as better than other people. And it causes us to overwork ourselves.

Each and every day when I wake up, I pray to God to take my pride away and show me humility. Lately, I have been humbled significantly and it has led to better outcomes.

Let me share a few examples.

First, when I started my company, I looked into the woman who started the franchise company and told her that within a year I would be her top franchisee. Well, I wasn’t. A matter of fact, far from it. There are newer franchisees who are coming on board that are doing much more than I am. In 2014 my business showed a loss. Granted, some of that was startup costs, but even with that factored out, it showed a minor loss. At the beginning of this year, I prayed for God to get me out of the way. To give my business completely to Him for growth and sustainability. When that happened, I saw a polar change. The first month alone my business brought in enough revenue to cover 48% of the entire year’s expenses and I got 3 clients signed up and one big one transferred to me from another franchisee.

This year looks good for the business. I look forward to seeing what God will do with it. Notice I said God and not me. It was only after completely giving it to Him that I started seeing growth.

Proverbs 26:12 – Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.

The next example comes from one of the ministries I lead. I lead a young adult ministry at church. When I started with it back in April of last year, we had 8 people and 3 of them were leaders, so really only 5 regular attenders. We would flop back and forth between 8 and 12 people all year long, but we never saw much growth.   I was leading the outreaches and the teaching.

Well, as this year started, the leaders came to me and brought some ideas for change. Thinking that my way was the one working, I went in saying to myself that I would listen but was resistant to change. Well, I gave my attitude to God completely.

I asked Him to break me down and take my pride from me.

I listened intently. Wanting to jump in and say a lot, and sometimes I had to restrain myself a lot.

At the end, I found my outreach ministry through United was given to someone else and the teaching was given more of a focus. I walked out of our meeting feeling relieved.

We went into the new year with 17 people on average coming to United. A 112% increase over last year at the same time and 42% increase over the prior year average. We also went into this year with a new event coordinator and an outreach coordinator. Both men are doing very well, as are our men’s and women’s leaders. We have outreaches planned out for the next 6 months, something I never simply had the time or energy to do.

But God also blessed it in other ways.

The teaching has gone deeper. We are studying through verse by verse the book of Hebrews. We are having significant theological discussions in United now where before we were more like a self-help group.

We still love and support one another in the community of faith, but now I see us seeking God’s face more deeply rather than just His hand.

And that came from giving my pride to God and asking it to be broken.

Psalm 51:17 – The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.

I could go on and on with examples. I could share more ministry examples. I could share examples from farther back in my past. I could even share examples with my girlfriend and how my pride has needed to be broken on more than one (and more than a thousand) occasion.

But I won’t. I won’t bore you with my past. I want my past, and my lessons, to point to God. It is only because I gave up my pride in those situations and relied solely on God that any fruit came of it.

I’ll continue to struggle with pride. It will be ongoing until the day I die.

But I know I have a God that is there for me. And wants me to give Him everything, the good and the ugly. And that is what I pray I will continue to do.

What do you need to give up to God? What do you need Him to break you of? How do you feel you can grow in your faith and what do you need to do to make that happen?

Call out to Him. Call out to the One who makes all things new. Call out to the Giver of Life and Creator of all. He is waiting. He desires all of you. Not just the stuff you look good doing. But all of you.

Give it up to Him today.

Luke 20:18 – Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces; anyone on whom it falls will be crushed.

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