It was the late John Stott who said that “Humility is our best friend and pride is our worst enemy.” There seems to be a lot of pride in leadership circles today. It’s not easy to find an effective and fruitful leader who is also genuinely humble—A leader who makes it all about the Lord who has called and the people being led, and not all about himself/herself. Chuck Lawless shares 7 questions to test your ego. See if you pass the test!
Originally posted by Chuck Lawless
Pride is a subtle and seductive enemy for all of us—beginning with me. Over the years, I’ve found myself responding wrongly to some of the situations I describe below, so these questions are helpful reminders to me:
- Do I ever find myself subtly bragging about the success of my ministry? I doubt many of us do that publicly and explicitly, but it’s easy at times to drop into conversations some hints of our success.
- How would I respond if someone I’ve discipled sees much more fruit in ministry than I’ve ever seen? The question here is whether I’ll rejoice if someone else I’ve trained does greater things than I.
- How would I respond if the most talented member of my church joins a church planting or revitalization team and leaves my church? That situation forces us to evaluate our commitment to the Great Commission and our own desire to keep the best within our reach.
- How would I respond if someone I’ve discipled at some point becomes my boss? In some ways, I’m in that situation now. Keith Whitfield, my immediate boss and Provost at Southeastern Seminary, was my student 20 years ago. Today, I delight in following him—but I doubt I would have always felt that way as a younger leader.
- Am I ever jealous over other ministers who get more recognition than I do? Even the most faithful of us sometimes face this green monster—especially when we think we can do things better than those who get recognized.
- When I succeed at something, do I affirm others who made my success possible—or do I keep the praise to myself? None of us succeeds on our own, but we sometimes forget how much we depend on others.
- Do I blame others when things don’t work out as I planned? This question is the opposite of the previous one. On one hand, ego accepts the praise; on the other, it always deflects the blame.
What questions help you to evaluate your ego?