Defeat pride and ego

October 26, 2012 | 10 comments

Do you feel like you always have to be right?
Do you interrupt conversations with others in order to get your opinion in and be heard—every time?
Do you feel like what you have to say is more important than what others have to say?
Do you have to speak the final word?
I’ve struggled in varying degrees with the above questions at different times in my life. They all indicate pride and ego, self-righteousness and vanity; none of them healthy qualities for anyone to indulge or manifest.
One time, when debating a topic with my wife and wanting to be sure she understood things the way I understood them, it suddenly occurred to me, “Evan, you don’t have to be right. Let Kathy be right.” I dropped my defense. I stopped debating (it was a very civil friendly debate!). I trusted that all would be well in the end, in God’s way of working things out. And I felt wonderful. Kathy did too. We quickly united and moved on. No good was lost.
I didn’t have to be right. I didn’t have to get her to see things my way. I didn’t have to have the final word. I could be happy in simply understanding better what she was trying to get across, and leave it at that.
What a breakthrough! It felt so good to let go of pride and ego on my part and trust all final outcomes to God.
Truth always triumphs in the end. There are times when events require truth to be spoken boldly and without compromise. But there are probably many more times when a strong dose of humility, sensitive listening, and appreciation for another’s position bring far better results in the long run.
So, if you feel like you have to “be right,” all the time, you don’t. Or, I should say, you don’t have to convince everyone around you that you’re right if your position is only causing more grief and angst. Back off. Get quiet with God. Let truth work its way through consciousness, through Christ, and be a promoter of peace and brotherly love.
What you fail to accomplish humanly, but is a right idea, God will accomplish spiritually. And what you fail to accomplish humanly, and was all the hubris of pride and ego anyway, is a very good thing to let go.

“Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud” (Proverbs 16:18,19).


10 thoughts on “Defeat pride and ego”

  1. Such a helpful treatment for letting go of pride and ego, dear Evan. Thanks so much. Any thoughts about how to pray for a spouse who seems to express pride, ego, self-righteousness? Could this mean that these unhealthy qualities are actually being held in my own thought?

  2. To above,

    Well, as Paul wrote in Romans 2:1, the self-righteousness we judge in others, we’re manifesting ourselves. Perhaps in different ways, but nonetheless, it takes a self-righteous thought to get upset over a self-righteous thought. Christ’s humility, and the power and protection that comes with it, is the antidote.

  3. I had that feeling also. I am not going to be self-righteous and say, I was always like that. It occurs, especially with family and friends. It used to frustrate me, if I couldn’t get my thought out, and in recent times, with the help of C/S, I am making headway. My relationship with my son is one example of progress towards being humble. The other is towards my Nurse Aides who is taking care of me 24/7. It’s also very relaxing to be released from the pressure of being right all the time. Thank you Evan for bringing this out.

  4. Here is a joke grave marker you might appreciate:

    Here lies the body of Micheal O’day
    Who died maintaining his ‘right of way’.
    He was right, dead right, as he sailed along,
    But he’s just as dead now, as if he’d been wrong.


  5. One of my mother’s commandments was, ” . . . it’s not who’s right, but what’s right.” Being able to impersonalize good always brings the right solution, from God. Thanks for the great reminder, Evan!

  6. I read (or heard)
    “Until your desire to love is greater than your desire to be right, you’ll never be loving.”


  7. Evan, please consider writing a post for when the situation is reversed — when I am the one always listening to a parent who always knows what is right, who constantly argues and interrupts to give their opinion, who can never accept that I may be right sometimes and have a right to speak. I try to subjugate ego, but it gets discouraging to carry on a conversation with this parent who treats everyone in the family like this.

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