“When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom.” Proverbs 11:2
I can remember being part of a church where the problem was always them. It was the secularists, or the other denominations, or the government. Very rarely was I confronted with the fact that I might be part of the problem. Maybe you have been involved in similar churches, where a spirit of pride fills the atmosphere.
Oddly enough, when there’s pride in the atmosphere it’s mixed with fear. When we’re supposed to be the good church with good people, good music, good programs, good theology then there’s little room for weakness, failure, honesty, or asking for help.
Pride in the atmosphere can be palpable. It tastes like criticism and it seems like joylessness.
Church renewal is a process of recovering a sense of the sinfulness of our sin - knocking down our pride. When we do that, we’re set free to experience the joy of the gospel. In other words, if my sins aren’t a big deal compared to their sins, then I don’t need a lot of love or grace to overcome them. But if my sins are a big deal, and it’s true that God really loves me, then his love must have been a bigger deal than I ever could have imagined.
A renewed sense of the sinfulness of sin and the goodness of grace can change the atmosphere of a church. Honesty replaces fakery. Confidence replaces criticism.
Joy replaces fear.
And when a church starts to fight against her own pride, then the love of the brotherhood can be the sweet aroma that draws the people God is calling to himself.
Do you want a renewed sense of the sinfulness of sin and the goodness of grace? Do you need help pruning back the fruits of pride? In addition to reaching out to one of our coaches to talk about how to do it, let us recommend a couple resources.
Flourish Executive Director Matt Bohling put together a study guide on “Addressing Pride in Your Life.” I’ve been personally blessed by Jack Miller’s “Repentance: A Daring Call to Real Surrender,” and the Puritan Thomas Watson’s “The Doctrine of Repentance.”
We’d love to hear the ways that your seeing a renewed fight against pride in your church. Drop us a comment or reach out to us on Facebook to keep the conversation going.