Bible Answer

How does pride affect Christian ministry?

Why do some Christian teachers and pastors become prideful in their knowledge and how does this affect their ministry?

Pride is often at the root of many of our sinful actions. It causes us to think of ourselves as better than others. Our sinful nature is one of pride and arrogance and we are warned against this throughout scripture.

Although Christian pastors, teachers and theologians are knowledgeable of things of God, they are still susceptible to the same temptations and sins as everyone else. Sometimes, great knowledge and talent can increase the temptation to become arrogant. The parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector in Luke 18:9-14 is a great example of Bible scholars in that day who viewed themselves as better than others because of the knowledge they possessed. God warned against this.

Luke 18:9-14 - To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’
“But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’
“I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

Pride hardens the mind and causes us to reject the wisdom of God. Worldly knowledge without Godly wisdom can often lead us to sinful motives and thoughts and cause us to think of ourselves as better than others. However, as followers of Christ, we are called to live a life of humility, just as Christ did.

Phil. 2:3 – Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others better than yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interest of others.