Wearing a Religious Hat

Taking oneself too seriously is a sin, and Christians sin this way a surprising amount.

We’re not surprised to see an unbeliever take himself too seriously. Showing off and then getting ticked off when others don’t acknowledge the greatness on display is natural for the natural man. We see Mr. Thinks-he’s-great at work all the time and it’s no surprise that he’s mad when others laugh.

But how does this happen among believers, among us? Christians take themselves too seriously due to the exact same problem. Pride still remains in our hearts, we just use Bible verses to defend it. It isn’t a different sin at all. It’s the same sin wearing a religious hat.

We must take some things seriously because God takes them seriously. Husbands ought to sanctify their wives by the washing of the water with the word (Ephesians 5:25-26). That’s serious. But, husbands, it’s not serious because we’re awesome. It’s serious because the husband/wife relationship illustrates Christ and His Bride.

Parents, in particular fathers, we will answer to God for bringing our children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4). That’s serious, but it’s serious because of His standards, not ours. God gave us stewardship, but that stewardship is to point them to their great Father, their heavenly Father.

Church leaders and disciplers also fall into cul-de-sac ministry, becoming dead-end authorities rather than speaking authoritatively about someone else, the Head of the Church, the Lord who commissioned the work. We take ourselves too seriously when we fight more for others to respect us than revere Him.

Pastor-centered shepherding is still man-centered ministry, parent-centered families are not better than child-centered ones, and husbands who get angry because their sacrifice was ignored miss the point. In some ways, the pointy heads of pride under these hats are worse because they should know better, and should be more experienced at killing pride rather than justifying it.