12 Quotes From “Altar Ego”

Altar EgoI loved reading Altar Ego (you can read my full book review by clicking here), but here are some quotes that especially caught my attention. Unless otherwise noted, these quotes are from Craig Groeschel—

“Don’t rely too much on labels, for too often they are fables.” —Charles Spurgeon

“When God helps you overcome a destructive label, He’ll often do what He did through Peter. He will take one of your greatest weaknesses and turn it into one of your greatest strengths. It has been said that our weakness is our genius—our greatest struggle often yields the greatest opportunity for our growth.”

“If you don’t know the purpose of your life, all you can do is misuse it. …Life with no purpose is life without meaning. When you don’t know the purpose of your life, everything you do is just an experiment. You just try on one thing after another, always hoping that the next shiny thing that catches your attention will finally be the one thing that makes a difference. …You are God’s masterpiece. Wouldn’t it make sense to ask God what you should do with your life? …The fact that God made you in this way tells us something else very important about your life. You have everything you need to do everything God wants you to do.”

“So are you spiritually soaring or are you crawling right now? If you feel like you’re still on the ground, then it’s time you realized that God wants you to fly. You’re not just another average, run-of-the-mill Christians barely making it. No, if you’re a Christian, then there is nothing regular about you. You must understand that you are filled with the same Spirit that raised Christ from the grave, and there’s nothing ordinary about that! You have access to the very throne of God; that’s not regular! You have authority to use the Name that is above every name, the name of Jesus Christ. There is nothing regular about you.”

“Why does generation after generation of intelligent adults make similar decisions every day? It’s simple. We allow our out-of-control, fleshly desires to overwhelm our better senses. We allow our egos, instead of our altar egos, to drive our desires. …The world offers substitutes for (or counterfeits of) real things: physical pleasures, materials things, pride in what we have and what we do. Before long, our sinful desires for the counterfeits of this world lure us into short-term decisions with long-term consequences. …So how do we move from living like the crowd? How do we overcome the cultural pull toward immediate ego gratification? We pursue God with all our hearts until His desires become our desires. …Our demanding egos become altar egos, with our selfish impatience sacrificed for something greater.”

“Integrity doesn’t come in degrees: low, medium, or high. You either have integrity or you don’t.” —Tony Dungy

“I’m convinced that the reason our culture is known worldwide as a place of dishonor is that we, as a culture, have dishonored God. All true honor is born out of a heart surrendered to the King of Kings. Psalm 22:23 says, ‘You who fear the Lord, praise Him! All you descendants of Jacob, honor Him! Revere Him, all you descendants of Israel!’ Our culture tends to treat God as common. We’re too familiar with Him. We refer to Him as ‘the Man Upstairs’ or ‘the Big Guy,’ or we say things like ‘Jesus is my homeboy.’ Jesus is not your homeboy. He is the soon-to-return, ruling, reigning King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He is the Alpha and Omega. When He returns, it will be with a sword. He is the Righteous One who shed His blood so that we would live. We have to stop treating God as common or ordinary.”

“Gratitude kills pride. Gratitude slays self-sufficiency. Gratitude crushes the spirit of entitlement. When we place our discontented egos on the altar of gratitude, we develop contented altar egos filled with thanksgiving.”

“So often fear keeps our egos front and center and in need of reassurance from other people or from our possessions or titles. But when we lay our egos on the altar of belief, our altar egos become liberated to live by faith and not by fear.”

“I believe Christians often perceive obedience to God as some test designed just to see if we’re really committed to Him. But what if it’s designed as God’s way of giving us what’s best for us?”

“Bold obedience triggers opposition. …If you’re not ready to face opposition for your obedience, you’re not ready to be used by God. When you obey God, opposition comes. Instead of smooth sailing, you may have to swim upstream in choppy water.”

“When we spend time with God, it leads to faith, which leads to boldness, which leads to results, which leads to more desire for Him, and more faith and more boldness and more glory to our Father.”

Respected Mentor


Last week I was listening to an interview with former Indianapolis coach Tony Dungy on the Catalyst podcast. In this interview, he had some amazing things to say about his relationship with Michael Vick.

Then this evening I opened up the latest issue of Sports Spectrum, and in the opening article, I read some more about the relationship between Coach Dungy and Vick.

In his Catalyst interview Coach Dungy said, “I felt like I let Michael down. Our schedules never coordinated for us to spend a day fishing. If I would have been able to spend a day with him, perhaps it would have come up in conversation about some of the poor decisions he was making. If I had the time to spend with him, maybe I could have given him some counsel that would have helped him make a different decision.” Wow!

Then Sports Spectrum reports that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell allowed Michael Vick to be reinstated into the league only on the condition that Tony Dungy would be Vick’s mentor. “Michael needs that right now,” Goodell said, “And I’ve asked Tony Dungy to play a more formal role on my behalf, but also on Michael’s behalf, to serve as a mentor to Michael and help him and guide him through some very difficult decisions he’s going to have to make going forward.”

So I’m thinking…

  • Would I put my reputation on the line for someone like Michael Vick? Would you?
  • Would someone even think to ask me to be his mentor?

I hope that you and I are both willing to mentor others, and that others will give us the chance to do so.

Good Times & Rough

Dungy's "Quiet Strength" Is A Must Read!

Dungy is a “Quiet Strength”!

Consider this quote from Tony Dungy’s memoir Quiet Strength

“It’s easy to be gracious when you’re getting carried off the field in celebration. It’s more difficult when you’re asked to pack up your desk and your passcode doesn’t work anymore. I think people look more closely at our actions in the rough times, when the emotions are raw and our guard is down. That’s when our true character shows and we find out if our faith is real. If I’m going to call myself a Christian, I have to honor Jesus in the disappointments too.” (emphasis mine)

So we could use this definition for integrity: when I act the same in rough times as I do in good times. It’s easy to give God thanks, be on my best behavior and say all the right things when everything is going my way. But I need to be just as attentive in the rough times to still give God thanks and still do and say the right things—the things that honor Jesus.

Great challenge, coach! I’m trying to live this out in my life too.

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