Top 10 Ways to Not Be a Jerk

I’m just finishing up a little vacation with my family and as a result today’s post is from the archives. I hope you don’t mind and I hope you enjoy. P.S. If you want to be a total stalker (shhh, I won’t tell) find me on Instagram as “Modernreject” to see my vacation pics.

I’ve been a bit of a jerk lately. I mean, you may not have noticed. People around me may not have noticed much, but I have. And God has certainly noticed.

My jerkiness has been manifesting itself as pride. Ugh. I hate that word: pride. It is a word that haunts me. Before knowing Christ I was extremely prideful and not in that cocky semi-attractive way. I was prideful in that don’t even think about telling me what to do because I already know it all kind of way.

God has definitely broken me (like a wild stallion) of much of my pride. But, every once in a while, if I’m not careful, it starts to creep back up and finds its way into my relationship with the Lord. He has been patient with me, more than I deserve. I have realized I have been a bit of a jerk recently to those around me and especially to God, thanks to that unattractive yet persistent pride of mine.

Oh, pride is ugly. It is a turn-off. It can even control you but, here are some ways to not let pride take over. Here are 10 ways to not be a jerk:

I started doing a Bible study recently called Seeking Him by Nancy Leigh DeMoss and Tim Grissom. A few pages in was a chapter on humility. Mmmm, my favorite subject (umm, not really). Here the authors supply a list, comparing the humble to the proud. As I read over the list, I got a little uncomfortable.

“I don’t do that.” I thought. “I’m definitely not humble in that…I’m nothing like that…” and so on. But more than be convicted and critical of myself for where I’ve failed, I would much rather be encouraged that God is hopefully bringing me to a point of humility.

Here are the 10 things that convicted yet challenged me from Seeking Him:

1. Proud people… are self-protective of their time, their rights, and their reputation.

Humble people…are self-denying.

2. Proud people…are wounded when others are promoted and they are overlooked.

Humble people…are eager for others to get the credit and rejoice when others  are lifted up.

3. Proud people…feel confident in what they know.

Humble people…are humbled by how very much they have to learn.

4. Proud people…keep others at arms’ length.

Humble people…are willing to risk getting close to others and to take risks of loving intimately.

5. Proud people…are unapproachable or defensive when criticized.

Humble people…receive criticism with a humble open spirit.

6. Proud people…tend to deal in generalities when confessing sin.

Humble people…are able to acknowledge specifics when confessing their sin.

7. Proud people…are concerned about the consequences of their sin.

Humble people…are grieved over the cause, the root of their sin.

8. Proud people…compare themselves with others and feel worthy of honor.

Humble people…compare themselves to the holiness of God and feel desperate need for His mercy.

9. Proud people…have to prove they are right.

Humble people…are not argumentative.

10. Proud people…desire to be served.

Humble people…are motivated to serve others.

Number 7 was especially convicting and eye-opening for me. I will admit, when I sin, I am much more quick to think about the consequences of that sin than to consider the root cause of that sin. I am more worried about how I will look rather than how God will look in me and through me.

I’m more concerned with the fact that I am being exposed than I am with the heart issue that developed such a sin in the first place. I have a long way to go to be anywhere near the humility described here but God is faithfully bringing me along, kicking and screaming sometimes, but along nonetheless. Bye-bye jerk. Hello, Nicole.

So what on this list was convicting or challenging to you? Are there areas where you have struggled with pride, either in the past or currently? How has God grown and humbled you?

post image from future phase design