“Let pride run its course, and it will deaden your heart. Pride inoculates you from the counsel of others and the stirrings of your conscience. It makes you think that the rules don’t apply to you or that you can violate them without repercussion.”- Carey Nieuwhof
Carey Nieuwhof concludes Chapter 9 of Didn’t See It Coming as he talks about the final two signs that insecurity drives an unhealthy focus on yourself.
4. You squeeze gifted people out of your life. When you feel proud, you need to show the most talent or skill. As a result, you attract fewer gifted people than more secure people do.
5. You want some say in everything. When insecurity drives you, you want to inject your input into everyone else’s story. And, Pastor Nieuwhof observes, know-it-alls weren’t much fun in kindergarten. In the adult word, they’re even less fun.
Most noteworthy, unchecked and unaddressed pride leads to a hardened heart. Consequently, Carey presents four characteristics of a hard heart to watch out for. A hard heart is:
- superior– your pride and insecurity feed your need to be better than somebody – anybody. Inferiority sends you drifting toward superiority.
- judgmental – to stay ahead, you must invent reasons why others are behind. Also, to bolster your tenuous sense of success, you concoct explanations for why you’re better than everyone else.
- unaccountable – you find creative ways to justify real accountability. Thus, you decide (a) you’re not accountable to anyone or (b) you surround yourself with people who tell you what you want to hear.
- isolated – ultimately, Carey notes, pride leads you to a very strange place. Because you only impress one person with your pride: you. Pastor Nieuwhof cautions: “You may spend your entire life building your kingdom, but just know this: a life devoted to self ultimately leaves you alone.
Therefore, you battle your pride as you start to cultivate humility.
Today’s question: How do you find that pride inoculates you from the stirrings of your conscience? Please share.
Coming Monday: the new Short Meditation, “God’s guideposts mark life’s trail”
Tomorrow’s blog: “Tame the raging beast of pride”