Thus says the Lord: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.” Jeremiah 9:23-25 (ESV)
We all go through seasons of success, accomplishment, and ease. Within these mountaintop moments is a soft singing siren, a temptation to believe better about ourselves than is justified.
For every mountaintop there is an equally low valley. This point is difficult to remember whenever we are disoriented from thinner air.
I want to present two easy indicators of an inflated ego and a proposed solution from Scripture. Here are the two indicators:
- Your self-talk is focused on how capable you are. You may try to appear humble, but on the inside you’re counting the reasons you have to be overconfident. This will usually slip out in conversation, leaving you to clean up an unsightly social blunder. In that case, it’s time for a heart check.
- You look for affirmation in the wrong places. Over time, you will start expecting people to believe you’re as great as you feel. You’ll need to prove yourself to those around you. That’s not a healthy mindset to live with.
It’s common for us to struggle with this thought pattern in times of comfort. Paul addresses this in Romans 12:3. It reads “I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgement, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned” (ESV). To put this verse in context, previously in chapter 11 Paul has shared more of the mystery of salvation to the Gentiles, asking in the beginning of chapter 12 that his audience submit their entire person to God as a proper act for one who has been eternally forgiven.
Anytime our egos start winning the war for our minds, we must return to the truth about ourselves. Before Christ we were all sinners, destitute for destruction (Eph. 2:1-3). Every good thing is a product of grace.
Let’s commit to thinking rightly of ourselves. Guard your heart against that which puffs up. Ask the Lord for a clear understanding of yourself today.