Are you too proud fo dat? Run through this short list and check your ego. If you’re too proud fo dat, it’s time to start removing obstacles to your effectiveness as a representative of the Gospel. I’ve been discovering, I actually am too proud fo dat.
Are you too proud to admit you don’t know something? This is a growth-stunter. You are waiving your right to more wisdom. That’s right, it could be that your pride is making you dumber. Not only that but, asking someone how or why gives them an opportunity to help you. People who help other people feel accepted and valued. If you’re too proud fo dat, you miss an opportunity to value someone else’s knowledge. As a result, you leave a door for the Gospel, shut in their lives.
Are you too proud to speak in a group? Shyness is not humility, it’s insecurity. You don’t have to be the life of the party. Don’t fall for the lie that everything you say has to be witty or smart-sounding. But you can choose to speak a few timely words of encouragement. Speaking a kind word to one person in front of others, shows that person and the others who hear, that you are interested in them for their good qualities. This makes Christ-followers deeper than your average human who spends 99.9% of his words on himself and selfish interests.
Are you too proud to laugh at yourself? Just force yourself to do it. It opens many doors. When people tease you, it’s generally because they like you. Give them the satisfaction of successfully getting your attention. If someone teases you in a harsh way and you laugh, you could win them over to a more amiable impression of you. Laughing builds camaraderie. One thing leads to another and you have an inroad for the Gospel. You at least send the message that Christians are good sports, not arrogant sticks in the mud.
Are you too proud to say you’re sorry? Be the first to apologize, it shows that you know you’re a sinner. People who know they’re sinners know they need a Savior. It’s very difficult to tell others they need a Savior, if you act like your never make mistakes.
Are you too proud to listen? Do you never shut up? Are you just waiting for the person you’re talking to, to finish their story so you can tell yours? That’s annoying. Do you want to be annoying? Learn to be quiet. Learn to ask questions. Discipline yourself to follow up every story you hear with three questions about it. You will find that people are very interesting. You will also find that they will wonder why you’re like that. It is a rare person that actually cares. In listening, you imitate God who inclines His ears to us to hear our prayers. If we don’t have a God who listens, why would anyone go to him?
Are you too proud to accept small inconsistencies and flub ups? When someone blows it and looses his temper, or they accidentally cuss or they don’t sound fluent in “Christianese”, do you judge them in your heart? This is proud. A great counter balance to a critical spirit is to confront yourself every time you think a critical thought about someone. Here’s how: Force yourself to say three things that you appreciate about them out loud. Praise God for those things. Now confess one of your own sins to God. Thank God for his mercy that everyone you know doesn’t judge you for that sin. Christ came to save sinners. You are one and so am I. It is very difficult for the beauty of a merciful message to shine through someone who is unmerciful.
Well, that is enough thrashing for a Wednesday. I’m flailing underneath the pounding of these things in my own life. I hope you find them truly helpful.
Amy DeBurgh is the wife of her favorite preacher. She lives in the great state of Wisconsin with her husband and three big kids who are the joy and adventure of her life.