Every one of us has an ego. It is a driving force for positive outcomes, particularly in business, where personal skills, aspiration, and self-assurance drive a company’s success. However, there are times when an inflated ego has a negative, and sometimes ruinous, influence, especially in a collaborative team setting. Your ego can wreck havoc on everything in your life, particularly relationships that should be beneficial to you. The apostle Paul warns not to think of yourself more highly than you ought to think, but to think with sober judgment (Romans 12:3). You must be mindful of maintaining the appropriate level of ego.
In the 1986 film Top Gun, the captain warns the protagonist, “son, your ego is writing checks that your body can’t cash.” It means to stop saying you’ll do something that you’re not competent enough to do. Stop making arrogant promises that you can’t keep because you’re not good enough. These things are harmful to those around you and will eventually cut you off. You must be honest enough to recognise that you must learn from others. An unchecked ego will prevent you from growing, from achieving balance and poise, and from receiving assistance from others.
Think of David and Saul if you’re unsure of where you fall on the ego scale. King David, reflecting his mature character, showed humility and accepted his wrongdoing when a prophet rebuked them. King Saul, on the other hand, was blinded by pride and was unable to admit his errors. These responses show how our ego can influence how we respond to criticism, leading us to either grow like David or fall like Saul. The Bible strongly condemns arrogance and ego. Proverbs 16:18 is paraphrased by The Message Bible as “First pride, then the crash— the bigger the ego, the harder the fall.”