To be honest, I don’t know any leaders who don’t struggle at some point with ego. The problem is that ego is like a trickle of water—what starts out small erodes the surface a bit, grows in volume, and creates a problem before we ever recognize it happening. Here are some signs of a growing ego, to which we’re all susceptible (beginning with me. . .):
- We quietly weave our achievements into conversations. We don’t want to make a show of ourselves, but we don’t want anyone to miss what we’ve done, either.
- We tweet about our accomplishments. Even a tweet that starts out as thanksgiving to God can be a backhanded way to brag.
- We get angry when we’re not invited to significant meetings. It’s hard for us to fathom why we wouldn’t be included; after all, we have much to offer.
- We drop names whenever possible. The names we drop may be someone we’ve met only once, but no one else needs to know that minor detail.
- We initiate “useful” relationships with others we think are important. Not only do we want to be associated with them, but we also view them as a means to meet others.
- We talk more about ourselves than others when we pray. Our requests are often self-centered, and they precede our requests for others.
- We’re seldom wrong. Even when it seems that we are, we have an explanation that protects our ego.
- We’re quick to point out the faults of others. Name any person we know, and we can come up with at least one weakness we’ve seen.
- We don’t listen to our spouse’s critique. We ignore even the person who loves us most.
- We already have a plan to climb the ministry ladder. Wise planning makes sense, but some of us are already planning ways to arrive on the mountain of celebrity.
Use this list to evaluate your own life. Press hard to be faithful to God, and seek His blessing to help grow the kingdom – but be ever aware of these warning signs.