Is Your Ego Edging God Out?
A couple of years ago, I attended a conference for people in ministry (The Christian Leadership Alliance Outcomes Conference – check out out if you’re in ministry, too).
In one of the seminars entitled “Lead Like Jesus,” the role of the ego was discussed.
The instructor wrote this visual out for us:
EGO = Edging God Out
It was one of those light bulb mic drop moments for me.
I can’t think of a more perfect description of ego, can you? When our ego gets out of control, we become a god to ourselves and act as a god to others.
Nebuchadnezzar was a king who suffered from tremendous ego. Like, scary tremendous, and he had all the power to back it up. He used his power to get what he wanted, conquering lands and people.
He ruled by fear and intimidation. He demanded full allegiance. He set himself up above all – and he could because he owned it all. However, no matter how hard he tried – including building a 90ft gold statue of himself that everyone was required to worship – there was one thing he couldn’t be: God.
God sent a dream to Nebuchadnezzar, and then He sent Nebuchadnezzar’s employee (Daniel) to Nebuchadnezzar to interpret the dream. The warning was this: stop sinning and thinking you created it all and control it all, get some humility, acknowledge God, or everything will be taken away. But Nebuchadnezzar didn’t head the warning.
“As he looked out across the city, he said, ‘Look at this great city of Babylon! By my own mighty power, I have built this beautiful city as my royal residence to display my majestic splendor.’” – Daniel 4:30
Just like that, Nebuchadnezzar lost it all – his wealth, his kingdom, and his mind – as promised. But God’s grace stepped in… when Nebuchadnezzar repented and acknowledged God, he was restored.
Ego is a terrible thing.
It will make us believe all the good things we have are because of our own work. It can make us feel untouchable.
Humility reminds us it’s all from God.
Like Nebuchadnezzar, if we don’t get our ego in check, God will check it for us. Let’s consider going to God and asking Him to point out any ways inside us that are edging Him out, any ways we are tempted to believe the success and blessings He gives are our own doing, and any ways that threaten to separate us from Him.
“[The Scriptures] say that God is passionate that the spirit he has placed within us should be faithful to him. And he gives grace generously. As the Scriptures say, ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’ So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” – James 4:5-7