Weekly Blog

What Leaders Have to Protect Against Most

I believe strongly that any organization unwilling to reach outside itself will die. The same can be said for an organization’s leaders. Related…although I am absolutely committed to Catholicism, I believe that north of 90% of what all Christians believe we have in common. These two things in combination lead me to Reverend Rick Warren, Founder and Senior Pastor of Saddleback Church in Orange County, CA.  

My wife and I have visited Saddleback, attended Sunday service (experiencing hospitality that you wouldn’t believe), and met with Saddleback’s Pastor of Small Groups. Again, absolutely committed to our Catholic faith, I/we can be learning from others. 

The above is a preface to a blog Pastor Rick recently wrote on “pride” and how destructive it can be. Paraphrased below, you can access the blog here.

Leaders can often become their own biggest obstacle. When they start to see fruitfulness, they may be tempted to make everything about themselves. This is pride. The Bible says it’s the root of every other sin.

Pride leads to conflict, prevents growth, leads to anxiety, and angers God. The opposite of pride is humility. That’s one characteristic we want and need to develop. Leading is a heavy responsibility. We cannot do it without God’s help. 

Humility is a choice. It is something we do to ourselves. So how do we develop it in our lives? Start with these five steps.

Admit your sins honestly.

We all sin, but the Bible is clear that God is ready to forgive us. Proverbs 28:13 says, “A man who refuses to admit his mistakes can never be successful. But if he confesses and forsakes them, he gets another chance”. God gives second chances (and third, fourth, and hundredth chances) to the humble.

Evaluate your strengths realistically.

You’ve probably heard the saying—maybe from your own parents—that you can be anything you want to be. But it’s not true. If you don’t have the talent for a particular role, you won’t be able to do it. 

To deal with pride in your life, you need to honestly evaluate your strengths and weaknesses. The Bible says, “Be honest in your estimate of yourselves, measuring your value by how much faith God has given you” (Romans 12:3). Pride is based on a false image of ourselves. Humility is based on a true and realistic image. Humility is being honest about both your strengths and weaknesses.

Enjoy your success gratefully. 

Remind yourself daily of two pride-busting truths. First, everything we have is a gift from God. Paul asks in 1 Corinthians 4:7, “What are you so puffed up about? What do you have that God hasn’t given you?”.

The truth is, we wouldn’t even have breath if God hadn’t given it to us. Anything God does through you isn’t about you. It’s about Him. Everything you achieve is about Him. 

Second, one day we will give an account before God for what we did with what He gave us. It’s hard to be prideful when you realize that one day every one of your secrets will be exposed. It’s a humbling realization.

Serve others unselfishly.

The greatest antidote to pride is to give yourself away by helping others. It’s the only way to live more happily and humbly. 

The Bible teaches: “Don’t be selfish; don’t live to make a good impression on others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourself. Don’t just think about your own affairs, but be interested in others, too, and in what they are doing” (Philippians 2:3-4).

Humility isn’t thinking less of yourself; it’s thinking of yourself less. We need to get so busy serving others that we don’t have time for our own gripes and complaints. 

Depend on Jesus continually.

Depending on God is how we express humility. In fact, dependence is the heart of humility. God didn’t design us to be independent—but dependent on Him. Stress often comes from taking upon ourselves what we were never intended to do. 

You’ll never get rid of all the stress in your life, but you can depend upon God for the ultimate outcome. Your circumstances don’t have to determine your response. The Bible promises great blessings when we are humble and depend on God. Proverbs 22:4 says, “Respecting the Lord and not being proud will bring you wealth, honor, and life”.

Outwardly, you may be an extremely successful leader. But your success is not about you—it’s about what God will do through you. 

Thank you, Rev. Rick. Great stuff!!! I read Rev. Rick’s posts regularly. You can get them and other resources at Let’s learn together.  

As always, please feel free to contact me at with questions, comments, concerns, challenges, or prayer requests.  

God Bless you on your Path to Peace, Joy, and Fulfillment!!!

God made you for GREATNESS!!!

Mark Joseph