Okay, I’ll admit it: I want to be a celebrity.
Well, sort of. I write a blog, and I want people to admire me for my cutting insight, charming wit, and penetrating analysis. I lead worship, and I want people to say things like, “He’s the awesomest worship leader ever. He leads me straight into the holy place. And he’s much taller than Chris Tomlin.” Sometimes I get to preach, and it would make me very happy if people said things like, “I think we may have another Charles Spurgeon on our hands.” You get the point. I want people to be built into me, admire me, and follow me.
Do you see this in your own life? Maybe you lead a small group, and you really want the admiration of those in your group. Or maybe you teach Sunday school, and crave the compliments of those you’re teaching. Insert your own particular situation.
Then read the cutting words of 1 Corinthians 3:5-7
What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each.? I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth.? So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth…
If anyone could have boasted about his spiritual success, it was Paul. After all, his resume did include things like seeing the resurrected Christ, planting churches, and leading thousands to Christ. But Paul was distinctly unimpressed with himself. He was only a servant. He planted seeds. Apollos watered them. But the growth came only from God.
Spiritual pride takes root in my life when I start taking credit for something only God can do. I can play my guitar, but only God can create true worship in a person’s heart. I can preach a sermon, but only God can transform a life. I can lead my small group, but only God can truly care for those in the group.
I want to be a celebrity. In reality, I’m just a servant.
What about you? Do you struggle with spiritual pride?