Someone has said that pride “is the pleasure we glean from thinking too highly of ourselves and an inflated sense of one's personal status or accomplishments.” Pride is sometimes called, “the stealth sin” because it is so hard to detect in ourselves.
It can also hinder our evangelism efforts. When we become prideful in or about our outreach efforts, our fruitfulness and effectiveness usually suffer.
Why is pride a problem?
- Pride is one of the things the Lord hates. Evangelism should be all about God, where He gets the credit and glory. Pride is when it is all about me, my success, my ability, my glory. God will not share His glory with anyone (Prov. 6:16–17; James 4:6).
- Pride hinders our outreach. When we are prideful, we move from being concerned about the person to concerned about being right or winning the argument.
- Pride destroys our unity as believers. Consider some of the arguments, debates, and church splits that have occurred in churches. Many of those disagreements are rooted in pride and damage our witness to the outside world.
- Pride destroys our dependence on God. This is particularly true for those who are naturally gifted communicators or "people persons" with the gift of gab or persuasion. We are tempted to see ourselves as the power instead of the instrument.
- Pride keeps us from stepping out in faith. There are certain fears we have that are actually rooted in pride, including the fear of looking foolish and the fear of rejection, etc.
How do we avoid the landmine of pride?
- Recognize that pride is extremely hard to detect in ourselves. Pride is the only disease that makes everyone sick except the person who has it. Ask God to awaken you to any conceit that manifests in your heart.
- Stay in the word. James compares the word of God to a mirror. It reveals who we really are, including our own vanity.
- Be accountable. Is there someone in your life who tells you what you need to hear rather than what you want to hear?
- Pursue humility. The late Billy Graham has said that every morning he focused on how big God is, and how small he was in comparison.
Don’t let pride destroy your witness. Deal with your pride before your pride deals with you: “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up” (James 4:10).
- Listen to David Souther and Larry Moyer discuss the landmine of pride in Season 2: Episode 5 of The EvanTell Podcast