PRIDE (Part I): Thinking Too Much of Self
by Todd Johansson
[Christian Boot Camp (CBC) is a series of teachings on topics (which we refer to as Belief Deceptions) that cripple people and churches, such as pride, offense, anger, fear, self-righteousness, denial, blame-shifting, enabling and victim mentality, just to name a few. These teachings—complete with accompanying slides, handouts, and other collaterals—can help your church get on the road to total health. The following article is a very short excerpt of the CBC teaching on the subject of Pride. Contact Innovative Church & Worship Consulting for more details.]
Of all of the Belief Deceptions that Christian Boot Camp teaches on, by far, PRIDE is the deadliest. It will destroy your relationships with people, cause God to turn against you, and will actually unify you with satan.
As this image indicates...
...at the center of PRIDE is "I"...or ego...or self. Andrew Wommack said it best:
You can always tell when someone is overly-consumed with self because of the frequency of their use of personal pronouns, such as I, me, my, I'll, mine, myself, I'm, etc. (One of CBC's class exercises is to tell students that their homework for the week is to eliminate the use of these personal pronouns for a full week, so that students will become aware of how often they refer to self during conversations).
Let me give you PRIDE definition number one from Webster’s Dictionary, which CBC calls Achievement PRIDE:
With this type of PRIDE, you deceive (fool) yourself into thinking that because of your giftings, your work ethic, your looks, or your charisma, you were able to achieve something that others should admire. Examples of Achievement Pride are:
- You believe your musical or artistic talent should be admired by others
- Your expensive new car or nice home are the financial rewards of your occupational aptitude
- Your above-average looks are well above that of most others
We call Webster’s 2nd definition of PRIDE, ENTITLEMENT PRIDE:
With this type of PRIDE, other’s don’t share the same high opinion of you—as you feel about you; and in many cases, you feel the need to verbalize your importance of self to others. Examples of Entitlement Pride are:
- Being upset at a restaurant that your food didn’t arrive to your standards
- Bothered that someone you work/vounteer with received recognition, but you didn’t
- Troubled that someone with less church tenure than you was promoted above you
CBC defines Webster's 3rd definition of PRIDE as ME FIRST PRIDE:
With this type of PRIDE, it’s all about you. Examples of Me First Pride are:
- You and your wife are about to enter a restaurant; you open the door and walk in first
- You don’t belive the server that just took your order is someone with real feelings or dreams, but rather someone put on this earth to serve your needs
- While in a traffic jam, you refuse to let another driver in front of you (which of course may make you five seconds late to where you were going)
OTHER EXAMPLES OF PRIDE
When we think of someone who walks in PRIDE, we often think of someone who brags or is arrogant—which is true. But again, PRIDE in its simplest form is just thinking too much about yourself; what would please and elevate you. So, by this definition, PRIDE isn’t only tooting your own horn, but simply too much thought about self. Here are a few examples you may not have ever thought would be PRIDE:
EMBARRASSMENT – Think about it: why do you get embarrassed? It’s because you’re worried about what others will think of you (PRIDE).
STAGE FRIGHT – How is stage fright PRIDE? Because, just like embarrassment, you’re overly worried about what others will think of you.
ALWAYS LOSING YOUR CAR KEYS – We all know someone who does this. How is this PRIDE? Because instead of putting their keys where they should go, they put them down somewhere else, thinking “I’ll remember where I put them when I need them again.” And guess what, they weren’t able to remember (overestimating their recall abilities).
Are you in a place in your life where it either seems that God isn’t speaking to you, or you’re not getting direction from God? If so, it’s possible that PRIDE is the cause. James 4:6 says:
“God resists the PROUD, but gives grace to the humble.”
Some translations say, “God opposes the PROUD…” Another says, “God actively opposes the PROUD…” The original Greek word that was translated to “Resists” or “Opposes” is Antitassetai, which has a much stronger meaning than the translation. It means that God Sets Himself against, or Takes a Military Position Against. So when we act in PRIDE, God actually takes a military position against us. That’s a pretty scary thought.
So, to recap, when we behave in PRIDE:
- God Himself actively opposes us,
- People are naturally turned off to us, and
- Satan, by his mere nature, is (always) against us.
If you struggle with PRIDE, get alone with the Holy Spirit. Confess where you’ve been prideful and wrong. Repent (turn) from PRIDE, and ask Him to help you. He will, because He loves and cares for you, and doesn't want to oppose you, but wants to help you.
(Don’t forget to catch Parts II & III of The Spirit of Pride.)
To Get More Information on the Christian Boot Camp Curriculum, Contact ICWC today…
We LOVE to Help Churches!