One of the biggest challenges we can face is to think too highly of ourselves. Jesus faced this temptation from Satan in Matthew 4:1-11 and Gideon faced it from the people he served in Judges 8:22-27.
In Gideon's case, he had come a long way--from being fearful of God to serving God, back to fear and then more serving, and finally becoming a military hero who delivered Israel from their enemies.
But his success may have gotten to his head. When he was asked by the Israelites to rule over them he appeared to answer well: "I will not.... The LORD will rule over you." Then he proceeded to undo the wisdom of his statement by collecting gold items from the Israelites to make an ephod. An ephod was a type of clothing, but Gideon set it up as idol.
Judges tells us the people worshiped this idol and prostituted themselves before God.
Gideon is a warning to us. He represents those who speak a good game but don't back it up with action. Worse, he represents those who seek to appear spiritual through their words while deceiving people and building themselves up through their actions.
Jesus, on the other hand, was the perfect combination of words and actions. When he was tempted by Satan in the wilderness, he spoke the right words but also backed them up by mainting his focus on God.
Be careful how you live--worship God, speak well to others, and watch your conduct so that no one will be deceived by your actions after listening to your words.
File: Study Notes for Judges 6-8 (Gideon)