Saddleback church pastor Rick Warren has offered some helpful advice on how to overcome pride - a sin he identifies as "the first and greatest barrier to change in any area of your life."
In a recent "Daily Hope" devotional titled "To Know Where You're Going, Evaluate Where You Are", Warren first emphasized that no one - not even the Pope - has it all together. In fact, the Bible says there's nothing perfect on Earth except God's Word, as everything on this planet is broken because of sin.
However, so many people - even Christians - walk around trying to impress people, pretending like they have it all together. This is a problem, Warren contends, as doing so violates Romans 12:3b: "Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you" (NIV).
"If you want to have lasting change in your life, you first have to humbly assess your current state and admit that you don't have it all together," he writes. "You have to admit you have a problem with your finances, with your health, or wherever you struggle in your life."
Warren asks his readers if they have the courage to ask others, "Where do I need to change?"
"Why is this so important?" he asks. "Because you can only manage what you measure. If you don't know the measure of your faith, you can't grow in your faith. If you don't know the measure of your health, you can't develop and grow in health. If you don't know the measure of where you are financially, you can't set financial goals. If you don't know the measure of where you are spiritually or vocationally or relationally, then you can't grow in those areas. You can only manage what you measure."
It's also important to record progress in a journal, Warren says, whether it's health goals, financial goals, or any other kind of goal.
"Evaluate where you are so that you can know where you should go," he concludes.
In an earlier devotional, the Saddleback Church pastor advised readers who want to learn humility and overcome pride to simply spend time with Jesus.
"He is humble," he explained. "He wants a relationship with you. He wants you to spend time with him in prayer and reading his Word and talking to him. He is humble, and as you get to know him, you'll become more like him," he wrote, quoting Philippians 2:3b, 5-6: "Be humble and give more honor to others than to yourselves .... You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to."
He concluded: "No one has done anything more humble than Jesus, coming from Heaven to Earth to become a man, live for us, give his life for us, and be resurrected for us. When you spend time around him, it makes you more humble, and that builds your relationships."