In my last post in this series, I discussed the pride of achievements. Today, I continue my discussion by focusing on the pride of an independent spirit.
The Pride of an Independent Spirit
This form of pride expresses itself in two ways: (1) “A resistance to authority, especially spiritual authority”, and (2) “an unteachable attitude.”
This particular form of pride stems from believing that we know everything. When we think we know more than someone else, we are less likely to submit to their spiritual guidance and authority. This is something the Bible condemns. In Hebrews 13:17, we read,
“Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.”
Even though this verse directly applies to spiritual leaders in our churches, the principle of teachability and submission carries over to any situation where we are under the tutelage of a more mature believer. Which means there are those who are more mature than us that can help us grow in our Christian walk. We should take advantage of those relationships by being mentored, which should then result in us mentoring others.
How do we guard against this form of pride?
I believe we can guard against this form of pride by meditating on the following Scriptures.
“My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you,” (Prov. 2:1)
“My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments,” (Prov. 3:1)
“Hear, O sons, a father’s instruction, and be attentive, that you may gain insight,” (Prov. 4:1)
“My son, be attentive to my wisdom; incline your ear to my understanding,” (Prov. 5:1)
“My son, keep my words and treasure up my commandments with you;” (Prov. 7:1)
All of these Scriptures stress teachability and a respect for authority. Just as a son is to respect his father’s authority and allow him to teach him that which he does not know, we are to respect the spiritual authority of those more mature than us, allowing them to teach us, so that we can grow in our Christian walk.
Questions for Reflection
- Are you susceptible to this form of pride?
- In what generation does this sin typically surface?
- What other issues besides an independent spirit do you believe hinders mentoring relationships in our churches?
- How might being mentored by a more mature believer benefit you?
- If you are currently being mentored, would you share how that time has benefited your spiritual progress?
 Jerry Bridges, Respectable Sins, 97.
Post Adapted from Respectable Sins by Jerry Bridges, 97-100.