First pride, then the crash—the bigger the ego, the harder the fall. Proverbs 16:18 (MSG)
Recently I was re-reading How the Mighty Fall by Jim Collins. It talks about how once big and formidable companies eventually fall from “great” to “irrelevant” or even "non-existent." According to Collins, the first step of this fall is called “hubris”—pride, arrogance, and a sense of entitlement.
Pride is deadly in business. Pride is also deadly in personal life.
In my ministry experience, most of the people whom I have met are truly humble. The few who I would describe as prideful was outside of ministry in a relatively short time.
Pride may exist in many forms. The most common ones that I have encountered are:
1. I am indispensable.
- Things won’t work without me.
- I am so good that whatever I do will be successful.
2. I am always right.
- Whatever I do is right.
- You are wrong if you disagree with or differ from me.
Whether it is at work, in business, or at home; pride shows up easily. I am amazed to see how this plays out even in parenting and marriage.
C.S. Lewis says, “True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.” A good way of fighting pride is to turn our mental energies to focus on the needs of others.
But wait! Don’t say, “I know their needs, they need to...”
Why don’t we do an exercise? Why don’t we access their needs as they define it?
Ask your wife or husband, “How can I love you better?”
Ask your child, “What did daddy or mommy do that made you feel really loved?”
Ask a colleague, “What is it like to work with me? Can I do something different to make me a better colleague to you?”
As James 4:6 says, “It’s common knowledge that ‘God goes against the willful proud; God gives grace to the willing humble.’”