The Number One Way To Kill Your Pride

David Santistevan —  — 40 Comments

There’s a weakness in the life of every leader that can derail the best of them. It’s not lack of skill. It’s not even failure.

It’s a bit more subtle and easier to mask.

Kill pride by making "deposits" into the life of another

Yep, you guessed it. Pride.

If you don’t struggle with pride, you can stop reading now. Better yet, keep reading because it’s probably worse than you think.

Deal with pride on in the inside

Pride is primarily an inward issue. Most of us don’t walk around trumpeting our awesomeness. We feed upon it inwardly.

I’m an expert at this. Rather than dealing with my pride with violence, I’d rather pull a Spiderman and just mask it. I’m starving for the praise of man. I’m craving to “one-up” someone and receive accolades for my accomplishments, gifts, my ministry. To make matters worse, I even relish to be recognized for my humility. That’s like the Osama Bin Laden of pride in my book.

So let’s recap.

I’d rather mask my pride than deal with it.

I’m starving for praise.

I take pride in my humility.

Lord, help me.

Probably not the best life disposition for a full-time worship leader, right?

But there’s a way to kill pride everyday. I wish it were as simple as a medical procedure, a pill, or pulling a tooth (I think I’ll go with the pill, actually).

Like all good things in life, it’s more of a process:

Go make someone else great

When we pour our lives into another, a number of things will happen that kill your pride. Here’s why I think it’s the best way:

1. You take your eyes off yourself – in our quest to being the best, we tend to leave others in the dust. Rather than a relentless obsession with self-improvement, make it your goal to improve someone else.

2. You bring attention to someone else – pride is murdered when you share the spotlight with someone else – particularly if they’re better than you. It’s a little uneasy at first. You wonder, “Will I be forgotten? Will this person take my place?” But inwardly there’s nothing better you can do. You improve someone else while slaying the dragon of pride within.

3. You begin to prioritize the “Kingdom of God” over the “Kingdom of self” – when you pour into someone else, it becomes about the kingdom – developing leaders, releasing them into ministry. If you neglect this, you’ll continue to build your own selfish kingdom, which will crumble in the end.

4. It’s action oriented – rather than just saying things different or thinking different thoughts, making someone else great is an action. It’s physical. There’s no hiding the impact it will make. Pride will eat you from the inside out and its defeat demands a tangible action.

So I’ve decided that rather than climbing a ladder of success on my own, I’m climbing a mountain, harnessing others to my rope. And if they pass me up, great. We’re all on the same team, right? The better I can make someone else, the more impact we can make on this world together.

So whether you’re a worship leader, pastor, musician, writer, or any creative for that matter, don’t forget to invest in the life of another.

Question: who are you pouring into right now? How are you making them better? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

40 responses to The Number One Way To Kill Your Pride

  1. David,
    Great thoughts. Another aspect of pride revolves around the motives for why we do what we do. One of my favorite preachers, Timothy Keller, has an awesome sermon on the “other” prodigal son – the older son who stayed with his father. The message dives to the heart of motives – why we do what we do. Oftentimes, we Christians have the WORST motives. I agree with your thought of taking the focus off of ourselves. Thanks, again.

    • David Santistevan May 24, 2011 at 1:18 pm

      Good analogy, Jason. I LOVED Keller’s book “Prodigal God”. Such a refreshing perspective. Thanks!

  2. This is a really good article. It is something that I have been dealing with in my self for a few years, and I think it is something I will have to deal with for years and years to come.

    One of the hardest things is that pride is not only thinking too highly of yourself, but it is also thinking poorly about yourself. Many people think that killing pride is just thinking less of yourself, when killing pride is actually just not thinking of yourself at all.

  3. Great stuff! I have been pouring into the people in the worship ministry at my youth group…it has come a long way!

  4. I struggle with pride when I run across people who are trying to impress the worship pastor. I’m sure you’ve met those people, the ones that burst into song when you’re around or who start air drumming and when you ask “do you play the drums?” they look surprised so they can pretend like they werent just air drumming awkwardly secretly hoping you would ask them that.

    One of the ways I deal with pride is I “give away” songs. Even though I’m ultimately in control, I tell someone on my team that they own a song in the worship set. During service they can decide the order we sing it or if we should repeat the chorus, go back into the bridge, add an impromptu instrumental, etc etc. It gives them leadership experience and helps them feel like a vital part of the team. It’s also hard to be prideful when I’m not the one in charge! So if a song goes well and everyone after service is saying so, there’s not much credit I can take.

    • David Santistevan May 24, 2011 at 1:23 pm

      Grace, two things:

      1) your first paragraph made me crack up. You should put together a humorous post on this idea!
      2) Great idea! Sharing the spotlight is a great way to kill your pride, especially when the other person gets all the compliments! :)

  5. Great Stuff, I hate pride it is like a disease that just wont go away. I think its contagious too. Hide your wives, Hide your kids… Make someone else great…

  6. So good bro! This is true wisdom. It’s hard to believe that this is what Jesus did and modeled for us. I recently read a book called “Culture of Honor” by Danny Silk that is one of the best I have read in while. He talks a lot about this very same thing, and how for the Kingdom to function, honoring others is the pipeline that allows the resources of Heaven to flow.

  7. Sweet article! You describe me with this one: “I take pride in my humility.” :(

    Grace had a practical application of passing the “featured leader” slot to others on your team. Good idea.

    Overall I think we combat pride by looking for ways to serve and “promote” others.

    But still, the character trait I’m most proud of is “my humility”. :)

    • David Santistevan May 24, 2011 at 1:38 pm

      My friends and I used to joke around about that phrase in college, but it’s true for sure. Good stuff, Rob. Looking for others to promote is like a Chuck Norris roundhouse kick in the face to pride :)

  8. I really appreciate this…thank you!

  9. Reading this was like slapping myself in the face repeatedly. I didn’t want to continue reading it because of conviction (go figure) but knew I had to finish it.

    We creatives tend to have trouble with things like this and it requires balance. On the one hand we have a strong desire for affirmation and encouragement while on the other hand we have to refrain from allowing those same words to define us. Plus, it’s hard to allow someone else to have the spotlight when we want it for ourselves because of the compliments and praise that will most likely follow. But like you said, doing so is the best way to slay our pride.

    I needed this. Thanks, David.

  10. John Gallagher May 25, 2011 at 8:41 am

    Dude, this is reeally good. Very strong stuff :) Keep doing your thang.

  11. Pride = I am God
    Worship = you are God

    Worship and pride are spiritual opposites in that sense.

    That’s why Worship is a great antidote for pride. Pouring ourselves into the real God with sincere worship would help humble us.

  12. Caitlyn Inman May 26, 2011 at 9:11 am

    This was fantastic to read! Thank you so much for sharing w/ what God has given to you! :)

  13. Wow. Second really great blog post on humility I’ve read in the past couple of days. I’m not thinking it’s random. Oh my, this is the only way we can live that makes Him smile. Thanks so much for the reminder…Big ol’ blessings on you and your family!

  14. Hey, Good post. Pride is certainly the worst of sins.

  15. This issue of pride is much worse than we think. If we consider how Holy God is. And how insignificant we are. And the nature of pride. Satans best weapon to the people of God. Ive been battling it for awhile now. But as i read this i realized that pride is my enemy. and all the while i thought he was for me. Trying to help me and keep me strong. I see now how deceptive satan is when it comes to this issue of pride. Some things that have helped me are the scriptures on grace. How paul says by Gods grace i am what i am. And another verse where it says, i labored more than them all, yet not i but the grace of God that was with me. Also God says cast our cares on Him because He cares for us. Not casting all your cares on Him is pride. From experience, i suggest strongly that anyone reading this. If there are cares in your heart that youve kept from God. Cast them on Him now completely. You may think to yourself, I could never do that. And your right but by the grace of God you can. i only say this because i am learning the deception of not casting all worries on God. Remember His grace is sufficient for you, for His power is made perfect in weakness. Grace is empowerment.

  16. What advice would you give for the job interview question “what are you most proud of?”.

  17. Pls i really need help and i don’t know what to do cause i’ve been able to realize that deep down in me lies pride and anger….
    how can i let go of this bad habits because from the way things are i guess it will also be moving down to my generations and i don’t want it.
    so how do let go off this habit “pride and anger.”

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