4 August, 2021

How Low Will You (Let It) Go?

by | 19 January, 2016 | 2 comments

By Mark A. Taylor

“Let It Go” is more than the title of a worldwide pop hit song introduced in Disney”s blockbuster film Frozen three years ago.

According to Glen Elliott, “let it go” also makes a good theme for every Christian leader, indeed for every Christian.

He shared his heart on the subject of humility in a moment for Bible study and prayer at this year”s annual Christian Standard contributing editors retreat last week. He reminded us that both James and Peter admonish us: “God opposes the proud, but shows favor to the humble.” He quoted Proverbs 16:18 (“Pride goes before destruction”) and Proverbs 8:13 (God says, “I hate pride.”).

The core meaning of humble or humility is “lower,” he told us and said that very few are naturally humble. Instead, humility is a choice, and this is where “let it go” applies.

“Humility is the lowering of self. It is the letting go of something dear””power, influence, position, status, honor, time, money””for the sake of others,” he said. “Humility is letting go of whatever you have in order to make somebody else successful.”

But too few choose humility. Politicians and presidents try to impress with talk of their own accomplishments and their opponents” failures. Infighting and turf-protecting undermine progress in every enterprise, from corporate offices to the halls of academia. Again and again, leaders measure success not by service to others but by lauding and looking after self.

Jan19_MT_JNUnfortunately, this same syndrome can also play out in the local church.

Again and again we hear of standoffs between elders and ministers, each insisting on their own way, each accusing the other of faulty vision or wrong motives. Pride not only divides churches but also hampers parachurch ministries and breeds conflict among missionary teams. In fact, if you look for the cause of most dysfunction in the church””and also, by the way, in government or education or business or individual families””eventually you”ll come to pride. Pride stops us from listening, keeps us from learning, and doubles the difficulty of our leading. No wonder God hates pride.

Glen, a former missionary now serving as lead pastor with Pantano Christian Church in Tucson, Arizona, gave us two examples to move us toward humility.

One is Jim Collins, who, in his leadership classic Good to Great described “Level Five” leaders as those who were bold and humble. The two qualities are not mutually exclusive. According to Collins: “These leaders looked out the window, not in the mirror.”

Second is the best example, Jesus himself, who was willing to “let go” of his rights to power, safety, and honor. He “did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant” (Philippians 2:6, 7).

“It has always been through humility that God has overcome,” Glen said.

None of us has been asked to set aside as much of ourselves as Jesus did. But each of us can identify moments when we allowed ourselves get in the way of our service. Glen Elliott”s advice to the leaders gathered for our contributing editors retreat makes an apt motto for any of us seeking to serve God: “Let it go.”

<a href="https://christianstandard.com/author/admin/" target="_self">Christian Standard</a>

Christian Standard

Contact us at cs@christianstandardmedia.com


  1. Marshall Hayden

    Good choice of a theme!

    I’ve been rolling around in my mind the word “pride” for some time now; and as all of us really know, I guess, pride gets no positive mentions in the scriptures. But we Americans have parades and events with banners that say “pride.” Hm!

  2. john allcott

    Good article.
    And good point, commenter Marshall Hayden.
    We even have a leading presidential candidate who is notoriously proud.
    God opposes the proud.
    An interviewer once asked The Donald this question:
    “Have you ever asked God for forgiveness?”
    Trump replied:
    “I am not sure I have. I just go on and try to do a better job from there. I don”™t think so.”
    God opposes the proud.
    Yet we have a lot of church folks who cheer Trump’s incessant boasting.

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest Articles


By taking these symbols of Jesus’ body and blood, we announce we believe there really was a Jesus, and he really did die for us and carried all our sins down to a grave . . .

Documentary Highlights Christian Response to Pandemics

Southeast Christian Church’s “Purpose in Pandemics” is a documentary that follows the response of the church to pandemics throughout history. The “Purpose in Pandemics” website also includes a study guide for small groups and individuals.

Used of God

I soaked up Sam Stone’s wit and wisdom during our lunches together. Afterward, I’d take notes about our conversations. After hearing of his passing, inspired by his wordsmithing, I felt compelled to share just a small part of his story.

Sam E. Stone: ‘He Tried to Speak the Truth in Love’

In memory and appreciation of our former editor, Sam E. Stone, who died early this week, we share this 2011 column from Christian Standard’s archives in which Sam discussed four Scripture verses significant to his life.

Elliott Library ‘Cornerstone’ Laid

Three Bibles of historical significance to Cincinnati Christian University were the first books place on the shelves during relocation of the George Mark Elliott Library.

The Death of Evil

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. saw in minority groups’ struggles for social equality in America a parallel with Israel’s bondage in Egypt. King envisioned God’s goodness would deliver the U.S. from the evil of segregation.

Mark Scott’s Greatest Kingdom Impact

Since I first enrolled at Ozark Christian College, Mark Scott has been my kingdom hero, and I’m not the only young preacher Mark has shaped. Over his 35 years at OCC, Mark has inspired generations of students.

‘Have We Plans for 1921?’

“All the Standard asks is the opportunity to serve, and it yearns to render in 1921 the greatest, finest, and best service of its history. . . .”

CCLF Concluding Strong First Year in Greater Cincinnati

In its first full year, the Christian Church Leadership Foundation has accomplished much to ensure Christian education and resources would continue to be available to people in the Greater Cincinnati area.

News Briefs for Dec. 9

Items from Timber Lake Christian Church (Moberly, Mo.), Choateville Christian Church (Frankfort, Ky.), Johnson University, and more.

My Counsel for Young Preachers

If I were counseling an aspiring young preacher fresh out of Bible college or seminary, champing at the bit to lead in the church, I would offer these three bits of advice.

My Memories of Marshall Leggett

By Ben Merold
As I think about Marshall Leggett, who passed away on March 2 at age 90, two personal experiences keep coming to my mind . . .

Powell Quintuplets Graduating from High School

When the Powell quintuplets were born in 2001, all of Kentucky celebrated, including Southeast Christian Church, where the Powells are longtime members. Now the quints are 18 and are all headed to the same university.

Reentry: It May Be Harder Than We Think

When the COVID-19 crisis eases, I anticipate that reentry is going to be harder than some people think. Churches, especially, need to prepare for this.

How the Local Church Can Make a Difference in Foster Care

A ministry that serves the foster care system isn’t simple. The situations are complicated and the answers are never easy, but it’s been an incredible honor for Christ’s Church of Oronogo to be invited into families’ stories.

An Altar of Earth

We no longer sacrifice burnt offerings on an altar because Jesus came as the ultimate and final sacrifice for our sins. But we should remember an old command as we come before God to worship him.

Aug. 8 | Which Righteousness?

Having called the Galatians back to the true gospel, defended his own apostleship, and having confronted Peter (i.e., Cephas), Paul begins to argue for the gospel of righteousness.

Aug. 8 | Application

A biblical text normally has a single meaning, but it can have many applications. Consider Galatians 2:20 . . .

Follow Us