Colossians 3:23 says to work willingly at whatever we do, as though we are working for the Lord rather than for people. With this scripture in mind, I want to be as ambitious as possible. At the same time, I must fight against the pride that comes from doing things on my own. It’s a balancing act.

That’s why I enjoyed reading Ambition in Ministry by Robert Schnase. The bishop shares great wisdom and insights about the pitfalls of pride:

Thinking too highly of ourselves

After a successful revival and great evening of preaching and connection, the traveling preacher and his wife were traveling home. He asked his wife, “How many really great preachers do you think there are in Protestantism in our day? Realizing what her husband was getting at, she replied, “Exactly one less than you think.” When God works in us, giving us the ambition to do things and serve well, pride can creep in and make us start thinking too highly of ourselves. It’s always good to have people around us to keep us humble.

Feeling a sense of superiority

Positions are important, but the higher we rise, the more we should stoop to serve others in God’s kingdom. Otherwise, pride will subtly creep in, causing us to think of ourselves as superior.

Believing our own works have given us our position, possessions, or abilities

No growth is entirely ours to claim. Growth is always the work of God within us. He works through His Spirit, mentors, and other people.

Viewing ourselves in the center

Being in the center makes us think our way is the right way and people should listen to us.

I like this quote in the book: “Pride elicits anger from those around it, sadness for those who understand and see it, and loneliness for those who practice it.”

Fight having a sense of pride. Start by watching out for these four characteristics in your life.

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