- Vanity = A preoccupation with appearance or image.
- Stubbornness = The pride that causes us to shun correction.
- Exclusion = The pride that causes us to exclude both God and other people from their rightful places in our hearts.
Next he talks about how Jesus invites us to a life of humility. “All who humble themselves will be exalted.” John says that “pride is a persistent problem for people who strive for spiritual growth.” He goes on to say “When I try to do something good, I am immensely aware of it. And I tend to be aware of other people who aren’t putting forth the same effort.” Pride leads to comparison, judgementalism and a lack of love.
He uses the verses from Philippians 2:6-11 [Jesus] being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God to be grounds for grasping, but poured Himself out, taking the very nature of a servant.” John says “This could also be said, ‘Jesus became a servant in spite of the fact that He was God”
So how do we become a servant?
- Ministry of the mundane = Doing small things like helping your spouse around the house.
- Ministry of being interrupted = Being available when someone needs you.
- Embrace weaknesses and limitations = we feel by being busy overachievers we are important.
- Ministry of “holding your tongue” = Allow others to lead and make suggestions.
- Ministry of “bearing” = Not just bearing hardships for other people, but tolerating people who are hard to tolerate.
Then in chapter 10 we move to freedom. John starts off by saying “some people are in bondage of what other people think of them and that we must learn to live freely with our critics.” The only person we should care about approval from is God. He goes on to point out that this bondage might not even have real basis. “Often when we worry what others think of us, we are really worrying about what we think others think of us.”
Next he talks about “approval addiction” which is where we constantly seek approval of those we feel are above us. He refutes this saying “No one’s approval will affect us, unless we grant it credibility and status. The same goes for disapproval.
So how do I stop being an approval addict?
1. Resign from impression management = Do not brag or try to build yourself up for others.
2. Secretly practice good deeds = Do a good deed anonymously.