A prideful Church will destroy itself. The downfall of any Church begins when selfish and prideful ways set in. Satan's downfall was pride. He didn't turn into the beast through gluttony, lust or the love for money. Pride was why he fell from his glory. That same beast that will reign over hell because of his pride is dead set on destroying the Church. Pride is one of the most subtle and often overlooked condemning behaviors that we participate in.
We can be prideful and not even know it. Our infatuation with impressing others can create a mountain of pride. Churches, in particular, have been falling into the trap of pride. Have you seen Churches build huge facilities that far exceed their needs? All of this at the same time praising God for the blessing. At what point does pride cross the line with a blessing? I think that a prideful Church begins when people put their wants and desires before the Kingdom in the name of the Kingdom. Confused? Let me explain.
Anyone can justify their behavior or actions by saying that they are doing work for the Lord. Everything can be called a ministry if you want to make people feel important. Ultimately everything that we do and say will be held to God's standards. When our dependence on God changes to an expectation for his blessing, the walls will crumble.
A prideful Church has lost its purpose.
Instead of serving God, the expectation is that God will bless you. A prideful Church puts its emphasis on the end product giving them personal benefit. Sometimes the waters get muddied when people put their feelings ahead of what God wants. Music styles, worship styles, sermon messages and everything in between can be manipulated for personal gain. Pushing a Church in a direction that emphasizes your preferences over another moves the bar from pride to selfishness.
Many sins originate from pride. We can stop the division in a Church body by getting back to the scriptures. Even the best-intended interpretation of scripture can be consumed and redistributed as prideful. There is one easy way to avoid division in a Church. When Christ is the main thing, everything else will turn into noise. If you give noise a voice, you create division. When you divide a Church on pride, you anger God.
Are you positioning during prayer or praying selflessly?
Let me make this simple to understand. Positioning is focusing on the way to benefit yourself during prayer at the expense of others personally. Praying selflessly is putting others needs before yourself. Seeking God's wisdom to further his Kingdom without any personal gain is what God desires. Ultimately only God knows our heart. Others, however, can see our actions. Sometimes our actions speak louder than our prayers. Do not let your prayers be used to benefit your agenda.
A prideful Church will crumble when it tries to be everything to everyone. A prideful Church will crumble when Christ and the Gospel is not the focus of every action.
Philippians 2:4 NASB do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.