On Sunday we tackeled the topic of pride. This is a hard topic because to be honest, in general, I think we try to live with balanced pride. We don’t want to live without it. We don’t want too much of it, but we also don’t want to get rid of it from our lives.
So I began by exploring what pride is. Pride is really misplaced, perverted, and self-directed love. St. Augustine defined pride as “the love of one’s own excellence”. It’s love that is inward rather than outward. And in many ways that’s exactly what pride is: a vortex that makes all affection and love about you. Pride is self-interested and self-centered.
So with this understanding why on earth do we want to have anything to do with pride?
I think the reason we still try to balance and have just enough pride in our lives is this: in our culture we believe we need pride to succeed. That somehow without pride we won’t have any self-esteem, ability, or success in life. On Sunday I made a different case that we don’t need pride to succeed, we need humility.
Pride is based on false premises. It promotes our perfection and hides our flaws. It self-promotes our preferred version of ourselves, regardless of how true it is or isn’t. This is why pride is never a basis for healthy self-esteem: because it’s never based on the truth.
Will Willimon wrote: “To tell you the truth, I can’t think of much that is wrong with a healthy – within limits – sense of Pride, other than that Jesus was against it.”
I think that’s true. So we dove into how if Jesus didn’t display pride, how we might live like him free from it.
Where we landed was pretty simple: turn down pride and invest in humility. Jesus, when we he was tempted by the Devil in the desert, had his pride tested, poked, and prodded each time. But Jesus didn’t give in. He turned down pride, and instead invested in humility
We ended with a few practical ways to do this. The first, turning glory back to God. So often we want the glory for ourselves, but the example of Jesus is to give it back to the Father. So we gave this simple challenge: track the goodness of God this week. Keep track of all that God does for us. As we recognize God’s involvement in our lives, we can give the praise and glory back to him. So our simple challenge was to sit down once everyday and reflect on how God has been active in our lives. This will remind us that our success is not all about us, but God living and moving in and through us.
So why not do that this week? It’s a great step to grow humility and root out pride.
Big Idea: We need to live with humility, and root out pride.
- Pride is the great sin. C.S.Lewis
- Pride isn’t something to be shunned anymore, it is something to be embraced in our culture.
- Pride is misdirected, misplaced, and perverted love
- Pride is vortex that makes love all about you.
- “Pride is the love of one’s own excellence” St. Augustine
- Pride is a social sin In our culture we believe we need pride to succeed.
- The answer to our self-esteem issue, isn’t pride but humility The inward manifestation of pride leads a person to be obsessed with others and how they feel about him or her. Michael Mangis
- We’re supposed to instill pride in our children to make them stable people. But humility works even better. Fredrica Matthews-Greeen
- “Jesus encounters the temptation to Pride with his rejection and with his silence” Will Willimon
- We need to live with humility, and root out pride.
- We need to grow in our gratitude to God Pride takes all the credit for success, and blames everyone else for failure. We need to flip this around.
Adult / Group Discussion Questions: What stuck out to you from the sermon? What was challenging to you? How did God speak to you through it? What was new? How has pride ever wrecked a relationship you’ve been in? In what areas or ways do you struggle with pride? How can you grow in humility? Will you choose to track God’s goodness?
Discussion Questions / Actions for Young Families: Today talk to your kids about pride, and humility. Talk to them about being honest with who we are. But be proactive against pride, have them write out good things God has done for them this week. Have them make a picture, or share reasons for being thankful to God. The more they are rooted in that, the harder it will be for pride to take root.
Challenge for this Week Keep track of all the good God does for you this week