Ugly Pride: Wanting to Be Recognized by People

Category: Excerpts

The non-Christian world is full of pride, but pride can sadly creep into the church as well. We can inwardly desire the glory and applause from others, all the while trying to make it appear as though we don’t. May God keep us from pride.

Excerpt from the full sermon, “Humility Necessary for the Christian to Work Properly“.


Let's think of some expressions of pride. The Scribes and the Pharisees. A great example of pride of position. The pride of recognition. You remember what Jesus said of them? "The Scribes and the Pharisees love the place of honor at feasts and the best seats in the synagogues." So you come into the church, and if you have people that are competing for the highest seat, what does that look like? I mean, we're adults - many of us. We wouldn't imagine, you know how it is with little children when they play - what is that game they play with the chairs? Musical chairs. You've seen when there's one chair left. Or even when there's multiple chairs left, but two people try to get in the same seat. That's basically what Jesus is saying about Pharisees. They're fighting to get the highest seat. You know, you can just see two of them with all of their long garb on and they're trying to push each other off the seat like children playing musical chairs. We would never think of doing that. And yet, there can be that subtle reality in the heart that we want position. We want recognition. We want place. Oh, wanting to be recognized... wanting to be honored. You know what? Every part is not working properly when you've got that attitude in the church. Or how about the pride of power and achievement? You get this from Nebuchadnezzar. But this can come into the church just as well. "Is this not Babylon? Great Babylon - which I have built by my mighty power and for my great majesty." And you know, that can come into the church. People do what they do because they want to show what they can do. "Look what I can do." This achievement. And you know, the reason that we know that this easily infects the church is there you've got how many times, repeatedly, the inner circle of disciples. Luke 22:24 "A dispute also arose among them as to which of them was to be regarded as the greatest." Now you know, we would not be so bold as to say it out loud. I mean, those guys were pretty brash, right? Having an argument? Especially some of the times they were arguing that, Jesus is over there telling them how He's going to Jerusalem to die. They're over there: "I'm going to be greater than you." And Jesus is saying, "I'm going to die." Peter, who do you think you are? You think just because you walked on water out there you're going to be greater? See, we wouldn't think of that because why? Because of pride. That would be too embarrassing. You see, that's almost like little children. Little children can fight over the toy: Give it to me! Give it to me! You know, I saw some of that happen over here. And with children, they can do that shamelessly. But two adults, can you imagine if two of the mothers were like: Give that to me! And it's like no, they wouldn't do that because pride itself would indicate that they not. Because they don't want to be shamed. Little children don't have that sense of shame. But these guys were bold and brash. No, we might not do that, but you're thinking, in your heart, you desire that. You actually desire to be the greatest. You don't desire to be the least. You desire to be recognized. You desire to be applauded. (incomplete thought) You desire the glory of man.