Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Watch Your Feet

My toes are still black and blue from Nancy Leigh DeMoss stepping all over them in her ongoing series about humility. On Monday's broadcast, she gave a long list of examples of pride. Many of them hit me squarely between the eyes, including some actions that I'd never before considered to be prideful.

Here's the list she gave...I won't ask you to name which ones in particular convict you, unless you just want to 'fess up!

1. Do you look down on those who are less educated, less affluent, less refined, or less successful than yourself?

2. Do you think of yourself as more spiritual than your mate or people in your church or people in your workplace, other believers. Do you think of yourself as more spiritual than other believers you know?

3. Here’s another one: Do you have a judgmental spirit toward those who don’t make the same lifestyle choices that you do? Dress standards, how you school your kids, entertainment standards. Think of other believers you know. Do you tend to have a judgmental spirit? Now maybe you don’t think you do. If you wonder on some of these, you may want to go ask somebody who knows you really well, "Do I come across that way, as having a judgmental spirit toward those who have different lifestyle choices than I do?"

4. Here’s another one: Are you quick to find fault with others and to verbalize those faults to others? Do you have a sharp, critical tongue? We would call it discerning, analytical.

5. Here’s another one: Do you frequently correct or criticize your mate or your pastor or other people in positions of leadership—your kids’ teachers, youth director. Think about the people who are involved in your life, people in leadership. Are you quick to correct or criticize them? To them or to others?

6. Are you proud of the schedule you keep? How disciplined you are? How much you’re able to accomplish? You’re a real producer, a real performer. Is that something that you’re proud of?

7. Are you driven to receive approval, praise, or acceptance from others? You always need to have a pat on the back, have someone telling you how well you’re doing or you get discouraged. Are you driven to receive approval from others?

8. Are you argumentative? You have to have the last word. Think about what it’s been like in your home for the last day or two. Proverbs tell us that only by pride comes contention. So where there’s contention . . . “Yes,” you say, “I know. My husband. He’s a proud man. That’s why we have so much contention in our home.” No, it takes more than a proud husband to have contention in a home. It’s a proud husband and, more often than not, a proud wife too. Are you argumentative?

9. Do you generally think that your way is the right way, the only way, or the best way? Think about how you go about cleaning up your kitchen and then your husband comes along and he does it differently. Is your way the right way? It has to be done your way.

10. Do you have a touchy, sensitive spirit, easily offended? Do you get your feelings hurt easily? This is another one of the evidences of spiritual pride that Jonathan Edwards talked about—people who take offense easily. He said:

Spiritual pride takes great notice of opposition and injuries that are received and is prone to be often speaking of them . . . humility on the other hand causes a person to be more like his blessed Lord when reviled: quiet, not opening his mouth, but committing himself in silence to Him who judges righteously.

11. How about this one? Are you guilty of pretense. Trying to leave a better impression of yourself than is honestly true. Here’s a way to go about seeing if you have that one. Would the people that know you at church be shocked if they were to come and discover what you’re like at home, behind the four walls of your own home?

12. Another one: Do you have a hard time admitting when you are wrong? Is it hard for you to say, “I was wrong.” Or do you wait for the other person to admit that they were wrong?

13. Do you have a hard time confessing your sin to God or others? Not just in generalities. We all say I need to be a better woman. I need to love the Lord more. I need to read my Bible more. But when it comes to the specific issues. "I’m in love with food. I’m in love with television. I love entertainment more than I love God." I mean the specifics. Do you have a hard time confessing those?

14. Are you excessively shy? You say, “Shy? That’s proud?” Excessive shyness. What is it? Self-centeredness. What do other people think about me? That can be an evidence, a subtle form of pride.

15. Do you have a hard time reaching out and being friendly to people that you don’t know at church? Do you stick to your own little group there, hard to reach out to new people? That can be pride.

16. Do you become defensive when you are criticized or corrected? That anger that wells up. What is that? That’s a fruit that grows on the root of pride. Why do we get angry when somebody criticizes us? We may not express it outwardly, but inwardly. Because our pride gets hurt.

17. Are you a perfectionist? Here’s another evidence of pride perhaps in your life. The way you keep your house, the way you do your job, the way you raise your kids. Are you a perfectionist? Everything has to be just perfect and you get impatient and irked with people who aren’t.

18. Do you tend to be controlling of you mate? If you’re not sure, by the way, ask your mate.

19. Do you frequently interrupt people when they’re speaking? The Lord really spoke to me about this as I was working on this list. I realized what I’m saying when I interrupt you when you’re speaking is, what I have to say is more important than what you have to say. It’s pride.

20. Do you often complain about the weather, your health, your circumstances, your job, church? Complaining. How’s that pride? You think you deserve better. It shouldn’t be happening to me.

21. Do you talk about yourself too much? Are you more concerned about your problems, your needs, your burdens than about other people’s concerns?

22. Do you worry about what others think of you? About your reputation or your family’s reputation. By the way, that’s one thing that motivates a lot of parenting, isn’t it? With mothers, "What are people going to think if my child is this way?" That can be pride.

23. Do you neglect to express gratitude for the little things to God, to your mate, to others. An ungrateful spirit, that’s pride.

24. Do you neglect prayer and intake of the Word? How’s that pride? Well, I’m saying I can live my life without God. I can manage without Him.

25. Do you get hurt if your accomplishments or your acts of service are not recognized or rewarded? In your home? At your job? In your church?

26. Do you react to rules? And who of us doesn’t? Do you have a hard time being told what to do? Do you have an issue with authority? That’s pride.

27. Do you avoid participating in certain events for fear of being embarrassed or looking foolish? Do you avoid being around certain people because you feel inferior compared to them? Feel like you just don’t measure up.

28. Are you uncomfortable inviting people to your home because you don’t think it’s nice enough or you can’t afford to do lavish entertaining?

29. Is it hard for you to let others know when you need help? Maybe practical help or spiritual help. You have an independent spirit. I can do this on my own. I won’t let anybody else help me.

30. Here’s a way to measure your pride quotient. When is the last time you said these words to a family member, to a friend, to a co-worker, “I was wrong. Will you please forgive me?”

For the full transcript of the broadcast, click here.


Snapshot said...


DJG said...

I can see why your feet would be bruised....I think she got us all, at least all of me!

Anonymous said...

I started to read the questions and when I realized I was answering them wrong... I quit.