Pride is “a groundless thing” and “a brainless thing”. “It is the maddest thing that can exist”.
C. H. Spurgeon
It’s kind of ironic that my third post on pride vs. humility is being written on a plane rapidly moving towards San Diego. It’s ironic because there are very few situations that bring out pride more than being around other youth leaders from around the country. It would seem that people who work with student ministries should be very humble. We’re not rock stars or even senior pastors. We’re just youth pastors.
Perhaps others are far more humble than me, but inevitably when I get around others who do what I do (student ministry) there’s always comparison. I long for others to think I’m great.
“Are they better than me?” “Do they have more influence than I?” “I bet I have more experience”. When I was a little younger it was all about “I bet I have more potential”. It’s all really ugly isn’t it?
By the way, sometimes pride comes out in the opposite way. It asks questions like, I’m not as good as they are, am I? Different but still very focused on self.
The disciples really did the same thing. That gives me a little comfort. Questions like, “who is the greatest?” and “Jesus, can we sit at your right hand?” came up. I’m not quite as open with my pride. I tend to keep it a little more silent. James and John struggled with the same thoughts I do. They were interested in power and position. They longed to be famous.
Jesus’ response to James and John about who can sit at his right hand turns what most think of greatness totally upside down.
“whoever would be great among you must be your servant”.
There it is. True greatness is not about being served or famous or powerful, it really is about serving. The way to deal a fatal blow to pride and arrogance in our lives is to intentionally pursue becoming the servant of all. Jesus is not only the greatest example of this humility, he is also the one who gives the power to live it out.
So, the next 2 days in San Diego, instead of comparing I’m going to ask Jesus for the grace to serve, looking for ways to esteem others and more important.
Here's where it gets tricky. Will I become proud of the way I serve? Uhhgggg!