I don’t know about you, but I have often been told that I have a tendency to be my own worst critique. Obviously, this is something that a lot of people wrestle with, but I think for men, this might be more common.
It doesn’t even really matter what we do. We could be playing a pickup game of basketball or we could be having a discussion with our friends. We want to be great, which is a good thing, don’t get me wrong. But sometimes we are great and we have a hard time recognizing it.
But then there are also times where I’m not as good as those around me, and I like to project myself as better than I really am. I sometimes refer to it as trash talk or standing up for myself, but really, I just want others around me to think highly of me, because I don’t.
Whether you’re into trash talk or whether you have a hard time taking a compliment, the root issue is still the same. At our very core, we struggle deeply with pride.
The Core of Pride
I know you’ve probably all heard time and time again about how we struggle with pride. We’ve heard sermon after sermon, we’ve read quote after quote, maybe we’ve even read a book or two on the topic. So why another blog post about this topic?
I have nothing new to offer, but I recently found something really helpful, and I want to share it with you. At our core, maybe we struggle with pride, but at the very core of pride lays a ‘lie’.
The ‘Lies’ of Pride
A lie that you’re not as good as you need to be.
A lie that your worth is tied to the validation you receive.
A lie that pride is recognized, but not worth fighting.
I think of a lot of sins that people try to combat. I think of porn, or addiction, or gluttony, or any number of things. These things we fight because we can see how they genuinely affect the way that we live our lives. But pride also affects how we live our lives and there seems to be a lot less fighting that.
I think that’s because we don’t know how. So I feel like most of the material I’ve read on pride just recognizes the problem, but in order to combat it, we need to radically accept the truth that Jesus has to offer us.
We are loved
The truth is you don’t need to be good enough, because Jesus is, and he gave you his life. The truth that your worth isn’t from the validation you receive from others, but the validation you receive from your Heavenly Father, who says you are loved, accepted, and God delights in you.
But those truths aren’t the easiest to accept. But they are necessary. We need to cling to those truths in all things. Maybe we lose a game with our friends. It’s fine to be competitive, but it’s not okay to find our validation in the win or the loss. Your validation is in Christ’s win that already happened, so you can rest in that.
Maybe we are told that something we did was really helpful, but we don’t want to take the compliment. Don’t worry. They’re complimenting the Holy Spirit working inside of you. But if our identity is in Him, we gotta accept it.
Pride will kill us slowly in a way in which Satan rejoices. Men, let’s fight it for the glory of God and accept the truth Jesus has to offer.
Mitch graduated from Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, IL, where he studied Evangelism and Discipleship with an emphasis in Intercultural Ministries. He blogs at his own website about how the Gospel impacts the way we ought our lives. He was a Golden State Warriors fan before it was cool and is considered a semi-professional Kan Jam player in his hometown.