Here's a theological issue for you. I have recently realized what a proud person I am. I'm sure I will struggle with this all of my life, but I have been really made aware of it lately and have been trying to work on this area.
"Some counselors [people] emphasize doctrine and the exegesis of God's word as if they could stand alone, divorced from life. That's pride: knowledge by itself puffs up. Others of us may emphasize practical application to life without careful study of how God's word must undergird practice, thus offering mere morality without a vital connection to life in Christ. With such an epidemic of pride, the virtue of humility is perenially on the endangered list." --Stuart Scott ("Pursue the Servant's Mindset," Journal of Biblical Counseling, Vol. 17 No. 3 1999) (Thank you, Sarah, for this article.)
What a challenge to find that balance between the two! I think I used to be in the camp to emphasize doctrine back in college days, but found it challenging to apply to the "real world." Now I have been working on practical application, and seem to have swung to the other extreme (mentally) of morality without the undergirding of the Scripture. It is that overarching struggle of having my motivating factor the love of Christ and doing all for His glory. But that is easy to work on doing in my own strength, neglecting my dependence on Christ! Even in doing the "right things" it is easy to be doing it with the wrong motivation. Or it is easy to think "I'm not as bad as that person" without realizing how much of an abomination my proud thoughts are to the most-holy God and how in need of His mercy I am.
In that same article by Stuart Scott, he gives 10 ways to replace pride and work on humility:
1) Focus on our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as the author and perfecter of our faith.
2) Be overwhelmed by God's goodness.
3) Commune with God.
4) Serve others.
5) Obey God's revealed will in all things.
6) Learn from others.
7) Encourage others.
8) Pursue integrity in private as well as public life.
9) Deny self by assuming no rights, living unto Christ, buffeting the body, keeping it under subjection, exercising yourself unto godliness, mortifying sins and the deeds of the flesh.
10) Think rightly or soberly about yourself while bowing low before God and others.
Okay, here's another dilemma...in publishing this on my blog am I hoping to be open and honest with my struggles or am I merely being proud about my handling of this acknowledgement of pride? Just throwing that out there.
Lord, I confess I am guilty of not giving You first place in my actions and thoughts. With Your help, help my motives to be God-honoring and may I work on acknowleding my dependence on you daily in Bible study and prayer.