Pride is one of the enemy’s best tricks. It sneaks up on us when we’re least aware of it and can destroy our ministry, our character, and pretty much every area of our lives. So, what exactly is pride? The dictionary defines it as a “high opinion of one’s own dignity, importance, merit, or superiority.” Basically, in terms of worship, this means that we assume we are more important or valuable because of a particular ability or skill we have. Generally speaking, we’ve ignored the fact that God has given us our particular skill or ability, and instead of using it to glorify God, we’re using it to glorify (and inflate) ourselves.
Some questions that we should ask ourselves often, in order to identify whether or not we’ve fallen into this trap are:
- Why am I leading worship?
- Do I feel called to lead worship?
- Do I feel put out or offended when my skill or ability is overlooked?
- Am I trying to stand out and gain attention, or am I working in unity with the other band members and under authority of the leadership?
- Am I respectful of the leaders’ decisions?
Pride is a tricky thing and God detests it. The pride of mankind is what pushed Eve to eat the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge. Pride is what caused men to build the tower of Babel in Genesis 11, and pride caused the devil to lose his place in the heavenly realm. In the Old Testament, king after king (2 Chronicles 26:16; Jeremiah 13:9; Daniel 5:20; Isaiah 10:12) is seen losing his power and authority to rule, because of pride; and nation upon nation (Isaiah 13:19, 43:14; Ezekiel 32:12; Zechariah 9:6, 10:11), destroyed because of their pride.
Psalm 10:4 says, “In his pride the wicked man does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God” and 16:18 says “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” Pride says that we don’t need God and we can accomplish everything on our own, but humility and wisdom show that we can do nothing on our own; we need God. This is why Proverbs 11:12 states “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.” We should never fall into the trap of thinking we can do everything through our own ability and skill, because at any given moment God can take away our gifts and talents.
Furthermore, there is a great difference between those who are gifted with talent and those who are actually called to the ministry. Sometimes someone may be talented, but not called, while those who are called aren’t necessarily the most talented, but heavily anointed. However, this is a topic for another time.
For everything in the world–the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life–comes not from the Father but from the world. ~ 1 John 2:16