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Don’t Let Pride Be Your Guide
By Rick Warren

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.” Philippians 2:3 (NIV)

Every conflict that you go through in a relationship has an element of pride mixed into it. 

What is the middle letter of the word “pride”? I. What’s the middle letter of the word “crime”? I. What’s the middle letter of the word “sin”? I.

We have an “I” problem! “I” want what “I” want, and “I” want it now—and that causes all kinds of problems. In fact, pride is the root of every other sin. So, in any relationship, never let pride be your guide. 

The Bible says, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves” (Philippians 2:3 NIV).

In this verse, Paul points out two conflict-creating kinds of pride. One of them is selfish ambition, and the other is vain conceit. Selfish ambition says, “It’s all about me.” Vain conceit believes, “I’m always right.”

Selfish ambition causes all kinds of problems. James 3:16 says, “Where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice” (NIV). When you find confusion in your workplace, your church, your home, your marriage, and even the government, you can know that selfish ambition and jealousy are causing it.

Vain conceit is the attitude that you are always right. Another translation of Philippians 2:3 says, “Don’t live to make a good impression on others” (TLB). People do this in every area of life, but it’s especially obvious on social media; it’s a great temptation to make yourself look better on the Internet than you really are.

In Galatians, Paul lists many effects of living with pride. He says that, when you live a self-centered life, it shows up in all kinds of ways. He mentions some obvious things—like self-indulgence showing up in sexual immorality and wild partying and getting drunk.

But most of the things on the list are relational sins. Galatians 5:19-21 says, “When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear . . . quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy . . . Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God” (NLT). 

Pride leads to all kinds of relational discord.

If you want to be happy in your relationships, you’ve got to have harmony. And if you’re going to have harmony, you’ve got to have humility. Never let pride be your guide.

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