Posts Tagged ‘Pride’
When leaders understand their own identity they can resolve the issues related to arrogance, humility and service to others. Read Matthew 11:28-30.
As Jesus was instructing His disciples and others He talked about the topic of those who are weary, and needing rest. One of the great problems among leaders today is burnout. They take vacations and even sabbaticals but return from their time away from their job as weary as when they left. During their time off leaders don’t find their inner-rest because they simply change areas of activity. They don’t wrestle down the issue of who they are and why they were created or why they do what they do. Jesus was secure in who He was and His mission. He could be gentle, humble and even offer rest for weary souls who came to learn from Him because He was secure in His identity and His purpose for life on earth.
Leaders who can say, “I’m humble and proud of it,” may not be as humble as they think. Read Obadiah 3-4.
There are many ways for a leader to express pride; some good and some not so good. I am proud of the accomplishments of my children. I am proud to be an American. I am proud of the caring actions for the less fortunate of my church. I am proud of the people I work with. I am proud to be a former Marine. Kept within some reasonable balance these are all positive God-honoring applications of pride. The Edomites had a different form of pride and were judged for it. Verse three says, “The pride of your hearts has deceived you…” This kind of pride is the exact opposite of humility and leads to a form of arrogance that God hates. Those who have this kind of pride have an inappropriate and inflated view of themselves. They attribute their accomplishments to their own efforts and fail to acknowledge that everything they are and have comes from the hand of God. This is a self-sufficient pride that focuses on self and dishonors God.
Leaders must avoid destructive rivalry, comparison, and competition. Read Obadiah 1.
Obadiah may be the most obscure of the Old Testament prophets. He was a prophet that lived about 100 years after the reign of Solomon and it is thought he prophesied around 840 B. C. He wrote the shortest book in the Old Testament, just 21 verses, but his indictment of Edom is a timeless lesson for all leaders. Obadiah makes it very clear that pride, arrogance, acts of betrayal, deceit and intent to harm others will not receive God’s blessing and will bring about a leader’s (or a nation’s) downfall.
When a leader allows their pride to get out of control they put themselves and their team at risk. Read Daniel 4.
King Nebuchadnezzar provides a good example of a leader with his pride seriously out of control. His experience is an example of what happens when a leader comes face-to-face with the living God. If ever any one individual had the goods to be proud it was Nebuchadnezzar. He was the son of Nabopolassar, founder of the Chaldean dynasty. He ruled the Babylonians from 605-562 BC. He was the longest reigning and most powerful king during the Neo-Babylonian period (625-539 BC). Nebuchadnezzar was a powerful military leader conquering virtually all of the known world and he built cities and structures that yet today are considered among the wonders of the world.
Leaders can take on a dangerous kind of pride when they accept credit for what God is doing. Read Ezekiel 31:1-18.
Ezekiel tells us that on June 21, 587 BC God asked him to write His words about the upcoming fall from power of Egypt. Ezekiel used an allegory comparing Egypt to a cedar tree that had grown more massive (powerful) than all other trees (nations) because it was nourished by the rich soil along the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. They were being judged and would fall from power because the Pharaoh took credit for their lofty position and in his pride usurped God’s glory. Egypt was handed over to Babylon who is described in verse 12 as “…the most ruthless of foreign nations.”
Tags: Core beliefs, Egypts fall from power, Exercise control, Ezekiel, Lack of trust in God's sovereignty, Pride, Pride that ignores God's sovereignty, Stealing God's Glory, Taking credit when it is not due, Usurping God's glory