No one wants to admit that they struggle with pride.

And though it might take on different forms for different people, everyone struggles with it.

When I first started leading, I was so worried about being perceived as prideful. (Talk about a not-fun way to lead!) From the songs I did to the way I sang, everything caused me to question how people saw me. It even took me forever to actually lead my own original songs in a set because I didn’t want people to think I was prideful.

I spent so much time thinking about….me.

In my desperate attempt to be humble, I was actually walking in false humility (pride).

You can’t just wish your false humility away. You need to invite Him into the battle. You don’t need to try and do what only the Holy Spirit can do–you were never meant to fight your battles alone. Click To Tweet

This, in my experience, is the main hindrance to walking out the fullness of your calling. Most people aren’t prideful in an over-the-top, arrogant way. Instead, they are the opposite: afraid to embrace the fullness of who God made them to be because of a fear of being perceived as prideful. You can see it in how people respond to a compliment. The next time someone says to you, “Great worship set,” instead of making a comment about “The Lord” or something spiritual, receive it with a simple “Thank you.”

Pride is stifling because it’s resisting who God says you are and refusing to walk in what He’s prepared for you to do. The Lord made each of us with a unique gifting, talent, songs, and voice, even down to the way we move (or don’t move) when leading worship. Don’t apologize for it. Of course there’s a separate conversation we can have about tact and wisdom. But don’t apologize for who God made you to be.

Here are two simple ways to help overcome pride and false humility:

1. Keep the main thing the main thing.

Pursue relationship with Jesus above everything. Above trying to sound good, look good, or please people, friendship with Him must be our first priority.

2. Invite the Holy Spirit to help.

You can’t just wish your false humility away. You need to invite Him into the battle. You don’t need to try and do what only the Holy Spirit can do–you were never meant to fight your battles alone. The fruits of the Spirit are the complete opposite of pride. As you talk to the Holy Spirit about this, you will see fruit as He helps you win each battle.

Don’t go on a campaign to find all your pride or false humility. Ask God. Ask Him for His perfect timing and way to reveal any areas of pride. He will. He’s a kind, gentle, loving Father, not a taskmaster who’s disappointed in you because you’re still on the journey. He will speak to you. Just simply listen and respond.

Are there any areas of your life where God might be asking you to overcome pride in?

Huge thanks to my friend Jordan Vanderplate for letting me use this photo of San Isabel National Forest, CO. Check out more of his work here.

I’m Justin Rizzo. I enable worship leaders who feel isolated, overworked, and unfocused to experience peace, confidence and create thriving worship communities.

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Light of the World (Acoustic)


  1. Norman E Peterson

    Hello Justin: Yes indeed, a trap to be appearing humble. Just like Terri Terry’s class again: Take the compliment with a
    simple ‘thank you’ and give it to Him when alone. Had that happen several times this week about my playing at a service.
    Came to me right away about the gift I have been given and the three or four notes I played that gave me a suddenly that
    those notes were the ones proclaiming freedom.
    I smiled back at the people that said how great the viola sounded. Just said ‘thank you’ and thought joyfully about those
    release notes of freedom.
    It’s hard to be humble about being humble. Just walk with joy. Thanks Justin!

  2. Thank you for sharing. Can totally relate with this! Although Holy Spirit has already helped me so much in this area, I still struggle with the “leading me own songs” aspect.

    Justin, also, how do you choose your songs that you sing to / for / with people? I have noticed that not all (most but not all) of them are typical “worship songs”. Please don’t misunderstand me, they are really anointed and powerful and I believe God uses those songs to release things into the atmosphere and reveal stuff to people. It’s just not always the typical “easier” type of song that some people write. And it’s awesome – it’s your style. And that’s why I so relate. My question though: how do I know I am meant to “lead” or sing a prophetic song to / for / with people? Even if it is maybe not a “sing along song”?

    Wow, I hope I am making sense…

    1. Justin Rizzo

      Hey Yolande, I so appreciate this question! I think it comes down to a couple of things: 1) PRAYER – asking God to show you when and what songs, this can happen before and during the set 2) LENGTH, sometimes you can do something out of the ordinary for a few seconds or a minute or two and it’s well-received as people enter more of a listening posture or talking to God posture where they’re not singing along with you, and finally, 3) RISK – stepping out and not worrying about what people will think and just going for it.

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