Christians struggle with pride just like people who are not Christians. We all know what pride looks like in real life. It’s that man always talking about his acheivements, it’s that woman showing off how much and how far she jogs, it’s that guy on the team who think’s he’s #1. The list goes on. Christopher Hutchinson mentions that we can even become proud about our titles and degrees (MDiv, PhD, Dr., Rev., etc.). I appreciate Hutchinsons’ comments on this topic:
Of course, it is possible for pastors to wear their academic strikes humbly, and for unlettered people to take a perverse pride in their lack of credentials. As a general rule, I think stripes and titles tend to feed pride and hinder humility, especially when unduly emphasized.
My current congregation is blessed to have many men and women with doctorates and amazing accomplishments. Yeah, we are even more blessed to have people from all walks of life and educational levels. When we gather to worship, we are brothers and sisters in Christ, period. No distinctions are made at all. The joy and the fellowship of being together as equals all saved by the same grace is tangible. That is the sort of thing a conscious focus on humility can do in the church. For we have one Father who is in heaven, and one teacher, our Lord Jesus. I am blessed to lead a congregation where one has to work to find out whether someone has a doctorate or not. In some cases, it was years before a brother or sister told me, and in every case I remember, it was only because I asked them. That is the kind of humility that bind the congregation together in Christian love. Are pastors not to be as Paul, preaching not with lofty words of wisdom, but rather to know nothing but Christ and him crucified?
Covenant Presbyterian Church (OPC)
Hammond, WI, 54015