Joel Muddamalle

Pride and Humility

About The Episode


Dr. Joel Muddamalle, Director of Theology and Research at Proverbs 31 Ministries, joins us on today’s episode of the Leaders in Living Rooms podcast. Addressing the topics of pride and humility, Dr. Joel urges a theological shift in our view of success. He outlines three fundamental steps for cultivating the necessary humility as a leader: recognition, reflection, and community. Listen to today’s episode for practical advice on honest accountability and transparency in your leadership.

Dr. Joel’s Background and Journey:

  • Dr. Joel shares his Indian heritage and Christian upbringing through missionary grandparents.
  • He reflects on his journey from seasons of rebellion to finding stability and confidence in God’s Word.
  • Pursued education in Bible college and seminary, eventually planting a church in California.

The Importance of Humility:

  • Dr. Joel emphasizes the centrality of the local church in God’s plan for spreading the gospel.
  • Reflecting on his academic journey, he highlights the significance of embracing weakness and humility.
  • Describes encountering leaders whose weaknesses led them to rely on Jesus and find true peace and confidence.

Embracing Weaknesses and Humility:

  • Sean discusses the challenges leaders face in embracing weaknesses, citing narratives of leaders not finishing well.
  • Dr. Joel emphasizes humility as essential for reflecting God’s glory and avoiding self-destruction through pride.
  • Acknowledges the beauty in recognizing our limitations as it leads us to rely on Christ’s power.

Combatting Worldly Definitions of Success:

  • Sean discusses cultural narratives equating success with power and wealth, even in Christian circles.
  • Dr. Joel urges a theological shift to view success through the lens of the cross and suffering.
  • Practical advice includes surrounding oneself with honest accountability and transparency.

Practical Steps Toward Change:

  • Dr. Joel discusses hidden pride and the need for honest introspection to expose internal narratives.
  • Emphasizes moving from awareness to acceptance and application in addressing pride and embracing humility.

Cultivating Humility:

  • Dr. Joel outlines three fundamental steps for cultivating humility:
    • Recognition: Acknowledge one’s need for humility and recognize areas of pride and weakness.
    • Reflection: Reflect on personal experiences and attitudes, possibly through journaling or other forms of self-expression.
    • Community: Seek accountability and support from trusted individuals who can provide honest feedback and guidance.

The Role of Therapy and Spiritual Healing:

  • Dr. Joel emphasizes the importance of seeking therapy and counseling as a form of spiritual healing and growth.
  • He distinguishes between humanistic therapy and a therapy that acknowledges the role of God in the healing process, promoting wholeness and recovery.

Integration of Spiritual and Practical Approaches:

  • Sean shares his own experience with therapy and highlights the accessibility of online therapy options.
  • Dr. Joel emphasizes the importance of integrating spiritual practices, such as prayer and scripture, with practical strategies for managing anxiety and mental health.

Humility in Leadership:

  • They discuss the significance of humility in effective leadership and its role in combating pride and anxiety.
  • Dr. Joel illustrates the dangers of pride and its consequences, emphasizing the need for honest self-exploration and reliance on God.

Leadership Succession and Humility:

  • Sean discusses the challenges of leadership succession in churches and the importance of addressing issues of identity and humility among outgoing leaders.
  • Dr. Joel draws insights from the biblical narrative of Peter’s denial and restoration, highlighting the value of humility in navigating transitions and maintaining integrity.

Practical Advice for Young Leaders:

  • Dr. Joel offers practical advice for younger leaders entering into pastoral roles, emphasizing the importance of humility and character development over instant success.
  • He encourages leaders to slow down, invest in discipleship, and cultivate a theology of remembrance to sustain them through transitions and challenges.

Coaching Others in Humility:

  • Dr. Joel advises leaders on coaching others in humility, suggesting practical approaches such as assigning responsibilities that foster humility and providing ongoing mentorship and support.
  • He emphasizes the importance of commitment to walking alongside others in their growth journey.

Episode Links

The Hidden Peace, by Joel Muddamalle

If you’re a leader approaching a succession or transition. Or maybe you’re a few years in and beginning to see how complex transitions leadership is… go to The Art of Pastoral Succession and check out my brand new course in partnership with Carey Nieuwhof. 

Are you in Transition or have one on the horizon? Check out our 2023 cohorts and get connected with us at:

Who is Joel Muddamalle?

Muddamalle serves as Director of Theology and Research at Proverbs 31 Ministries, co-host of the popular podcast Therapy and Theology alongside Lysa TerKeurst and Jim Cress, and theologian in residence for Haven Place Ministries. His work studying theology and its practical application has led him to conclude that living a humble life is not a sign of defeat but a mark of Jesus’s victory in our lives.


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About the Host

Sean Morgan is a coach and speaker with a national reputation as a catalyst of fresh vision. His passion is to help ministries navigate obstacles and turn them into opportunities.

Throughout his career, Sean has pioneered initiatives impacting thousands of leaders across the country. He started out serving as Executive Pastor and CFO at New Life Church in northern California.

As host, Sean gives you access to amazing conversations, hard-won wisdom, and poignant insights from world-class leaders in intimate “living room” settings.

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Leaders in Living Rooms
Craft & Character

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