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Humble Pie

Gigantic theme in the bible. Incredible how people’s arrogance and pride can stop them from coming and receiving from God.

We live in a society of EXTREME overconfidence. Everyone is POSITIVE they’re right.

Just look on facebook.

People don’t have to be educated to be positive.


  • You watch a 5 minute news story on syria and you’re suddenly the expert on immigration.
  • You listen to your uncle talk, and suddenly you’re the expert on climate change.

And it’s not till they live 10 or 20 or 30 more years before they start to learn ‘Hmmm… Maybe everything wasn’t as simple as I thought it was.”

In todays business culture : Arrogance isn’t sinful, it’s just good business.

It’s how you become president.

There are so many areas of our lives that pride comes in and destroys.

Marriages Friendships Relationship w/ God

Pride just makes everything 1,000 times worse.

Arrogant people are horrible to be around.

I truly believe that one of the main reasons marriages don’t work out is because both people for some reason become completely unable to humble themselves and admit that they’re wrong. Or if they do admit they’re wrong, they do it in a way that’s really motivated by ‘being the bigger person’ and boy don’t they let you know it.

I believe that one reason people never connect to a church community is because they’re totally unable to humble themselves and open up and allow for real connection.


We’re hoping that this message will be super practical.

If you know me, you know I like big idea stuff. I love thinking about the church, and the world, big fat ideas. But we also know that a responsibility that we have in a community like this is to instruct ourselves in how we are to live our every day lives.


I want these messages to be personal.

So easy to hear messages and think “Man, I wish so and so would hear this.” It’s a lot easier to fix other people than yourself.

God Resists Arrogant

A theme that you constantly see in the teachings of Jesus is that, just like it says in James chapter 4

God resists the arrogant, but gives grace to the humble.

I feel like that’s pretty strong language. Of all the stupid things I could do, and I could do a lot of them, it certainly appears that being arrogant is a bad choice.

This theme is constantly played out with Jesus and the religious people of the day – the pharisees.

Luke 18:9-14

To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: (Luke 18:9)

“Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. (Luke 18:10)

The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. (Luke 18:11)

I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ (Luke 18:12)

“But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ (Luke 18:13)

“I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” (Luke 18:14)

Here’s where things get tough when you talk about humility.

Humility is kind etherial, abstract. It’s almost hard to talk about.

Can you brag about being humble? I don’t think so. Because then you wouldn’t be humble.

Number 12:3

Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth. (Number 12:3)

What’s really crazy, is moses wrote this.

Can you pursue humility? – So often we’re chasing after humility so that it would help us get to the top. Which is of course very UNhumble.

What do you do with the fact that pompous arrogant jerks don’t think they’re arrogant?! They just think they’re awesome. Most people don’t think they’re arrogant, they just think they’re good at what they do. Challenging to navigate this idea of humility vs. pride.

4 Proverbs

When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom. (Proverbs 11:2)

Everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the LORD; be assured, he will not go unpunished. (Proverbs 16:5)

Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. (Proverbs 16:18)

Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him. (Proverbs 26:12)

3 Ways – protect against arrogance.

3 Ways to protect against arrogance. – & With each, a Litmus test that will tell you if you have some room to improve.

1. Understand and acknowledge your weaknesses.

1 Corinthians 12:14-20 – How the body of Christ works.

Yes, the body has many different parts, not just one part. (1 Corinthians 12:14)

If the foot says, “I am not a part of the body because I am not a hand,” that does not make it any less a part of the body. (1 Corinthians 12:15)

And if the ear says, “I am not part of the body because I am not an eye,” would that make it any less a part of the body? (1 Corinthians 12:16)

If the whole body were an eye, how would you hear? Or if your whole body were an ear, how would you smell anything? (1 Corinthians 12:17)

But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it. (1 Corinthians 12:18)

How strange a body would be if it had only one part! (1 Corinthians 12:19)

Yes, there are many parts, but only one body. (1 Corinthians 12:20)

Lots of things to learn here. Here’s one:

No one is everything.

We all have strengths and we all have weaknesses. Some of us are eyes, some of us are ears, some of us are feet. Nobody is the whole body.

Here’s the implication: You need help. You can’t do and be everything.

This is why, at Outlet, we take the idea of community so seriously. So we come together, you cover my weaknesses, and I cover yours and together we’re stronger. So you’re freed up to know what you do well and what you stink at.

Pride Litmus Test 1

You’re arrogant if you say I don’t have any weaknesses.

You’re proud if you say : I don’t have any weaknesses! What are you talking about?

Drive something / build / teach / play… – Arrogant.

You’re arrogant if you say I don’t have any strengths!

You’re so talentless, and weak, and insecure!

That’s also arrogance. Why? B/C you’re minimizing God’s ability move through you despite your weaknesses. God loves using weak people.

Think about it, who in the bible do you think could be on staff here at this church?

King David? – Sleep around..

Paul? – Background Check – “Hey about those 150 people you murdered. You still struggle with that?”

But God comes and enters into that weakness and does something amazing.

So it’s arrogance to think you can do everything. And it’s arrogance to think you can do nothing.

(Protect against arrogance)

2. Stay Curious

Curiosity is basically a playful acknowledgment that you don’t know something. So I think of it as a protection against pride.

As we grow up, we must always resist the temptation to stop being curious.

About : God / Bible / World / Yourself

The temptation when you get older is to become crusty and uncurious.

Psalm 8:3-4

When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, (Psalm 8:3)

what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? (Psalm 8:4)

You can see David’s curiosity, and how that is producing in him, humility.

Pride Litmus Test 2

You’re arrogant if you’re not curious, but instead, you like to speak up even when you’re ignorant.

Ever known anyone like this? There’s an expert at the table, and there’s also this other person who always throws in their 2 cents.

Pilot. – You’re sitting down with a Pilot. Talking about how amazing it is. And then there’s your one friend who’s like “Yeah, lift and thrust?” When I was a kid, I’d stick my hand out the window and do this thing (going up and down with the breeze) is that basically what it is? That’s what it’s like guys.

The rest of the group is like “Shut Up. Let the pilot talk. Ask the pilot a question. You got a pilot here.”

Our inability to let someone else be the expert, is pride.

Curiosity is a mark of the humble.

Asking questions. “I don’t know! This guy knows!”

(Protect against arrogance)

3. Learn to acknowledge others.

Hebrews 10:24-25

Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. (Hebrews 10:24)

And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near. (Hebrews 10:25)

So it’s saying we are to encourage the strengths of others. Not point out where they mess up, but where they are great.

Small point

Just a small point : Often times the people we really struggle with are the people who are, in a lot of ways, a lot like us. So we bump heads. And it’s really hard to pay an honest compliment. Unless you’re doing it to prove that you’re the bigger man. Which is of course the opposite of humility.

Outlet Leadership TEAM.

One thing you may not know about Outlet, is that we have a leadership TEAM. When it comes time to make some decision about this ministry, we have a team that makes the decision together.

You’d be amazed at how often I lose votes.

“Well back in the day, my pastor just went up to the mountain, came down with his almighty opinion, and no one could ever question it.” That’s arrogant nonsense.

Nobody is everything.

As the leader of this ministry, I set the tone there. I’m always trying to acknowledge the strengths of others. And empower others.

Pride Litmus Test 3

You’re arrogant if you’re the hero of every story, and everything good that happens is simply a result of your brilliance.

If you’re always the one wearing the cape, then you’re arrogant. And hard to be around.


The implications of arrogance and humility in our personal relationships is staggering.

Only by pride comes contention. (Proverbs 13:10)

Self-Importance is why we fight

No matter how long you’ve been together, ego is something you’ll always have to deal with.

There’s 2 phrases that I think are so transformational to a relationship that I want to repeat them.

1. You’re Important Too.

Jordan – Homebody – One thing that’s true in mine and Jordan’s relationship is that Jordan is more of a home-body than I am. To make Jordan happy, all she needs is a puzzle, a drink, and a TV show. For me, I need to go out and do stuff! I want to go out with my friends, go downtown, go play a sport.

And so we have this tension of having a preference, but also remembering that the other person is important too.

Jordan might be feeling like “I really want to just stay home and do nothing!!! – But you’re important too.”

Black belt – Motivated love. And really, the black belt level relationship is this – you know what the other person wants, and you’re not just motivated by your preference, you’re motivated by your love for your partner.

2. You’re Smart Too.

TV – Recognizing actors. – When we’re watching TV – I’m incredibly good at recognizing actors. But you know what, sometimes I think I know, and I’m wrong. And so, with humility I say “Hey isn’t that guy from back to the future?!” And she might say ‘No, he does look like him.” I still think I’m right.

But I can either fight about it. “YES IT IS!” Or, I can remember that Jordan’s smart too. Ridiculously small list of things only I’m allowed to be right about.

New couples – You can be right, or you can be kind

Proverbs 26:16

Dreamers fantasize their self-importance; they think they are smarter than a whole collage faculty. (Proverbs 26:16 MSG)

Closing Statement God resists the arrogant, but gives grace to the humble. So those of us who are committed to following Jesus must consistently resist the way of arrogance. No one is everything. We all have strengths and we all have weaknesses. So as live our lives, we’re free to know what we do well and what we stink at. And as we come into relationship with other people, we stay curious and we remember that everyone has something to teach us, if we’re open to learning. God resists the arrogant, but gives grace to the humble.


As we close, we’ll take communion as we always do.

I love that the bible compares our love for each other with Christs love for the church.

He’s the example.

  • We recieve forgiveness from him and he teaches us how to forgive each other.
  • We recieve his sacrifice for us and he teaches us how to sacrifice for each other.

Tonight: Invites you – table – eat / drink :

Invites us to his table – eat and drink that I might abide in you and you in me.

Jesus invited each and every one of us, doesn’t matter who we are. Take, eat.

As they pass – Ask God : Where have I allowed arrogance to come in? And then we ask God to come and replace that arrogance with humility.