Letter #7: Pride is a Problem

by Jonathan Haefs

Dear Jonathan,

So I’m going to dispense with introductory small talk and jump right into something that has been on my heart since I received your last letter. Please don’t think of me as being judgmental, but I have to be honest with you.

Hello-My-Sin-Is-PridePride is a problem…a massively destructive problem!

I encourage you to go back and read your letter again to see if you can catch what I’m talking about. You really seem to be enjoying your theological studies, but you must be very careful as you gain more and more knowledge concerning the things of God. There is a knowledge that puffs up, but the good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way.

In fact, the more we come to know the Lord, the more our hearts should be humbled before him. I think of Paul who eventually grew to think of himself as the chief of sinners (that’s right…he “grew” into this). True knowledge of the Lord humbles us! That is “growth!” If our knowledge builds pride…then we either do not truly understand or believe the things we are learning.

While I was in seminary I felt as though I was on a roller coaster of pride and humility. One moment I caught myself lording my newfound knowledge over my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ (in class and in the church), and the next moment I was in tears before the Lord who was more awesome than I had ever imagined.

I found that the classroom could either puff me up or humble me. It could provide me with intellectual ammunition or internal adoration. Jonathan, what you learn in the classroom should lead you to one place…worship.

If seminary doesn’t drive you to your knees then you are merely gaining more knowledge about God, not actually coming to know more of God.

Oh…one last thing…don’t try to blame seminary for this problem of pride. I used that excuse for the longest time. Seminary is not a producer of pride…our hearts are the pride factory. If you find yourself struggling with pride…the problem is not outside you, but within and that is where the battle must be fought and won.

This battle is fought, not with more knowledge about God, but with knowing more of God. By the power of the Holy Spirit…fight! Fight this battle! It is a battle for your soul! You face many dangers in seminary, but nothing is more soul destroying and ministry neutralizing than pride!

Pride is a problem…a massively destructive problem!

Fight to know God and be humbled before him.

Grace and Peace,


*To know/understand the premise behind these letters please click here.