Pride & the Seven Deadly Sins
This has been the most personal of the deadly sins. Preparation for it has been unnerving. Pride has tenacious tentacles in my will and eyes. So much so that I went to a counseling appointment this Monday with Dan Boen (see link in sidebar - CCCOI). We talked about my irritation with people who bug me. We ended up talking about my pride. Ouch.
In preparation for this sermon I read C.S. Lewis' famous chapter on Pride in his potent book: Mere Christianity. I probably underlined half the chapter - he has great insight into this deadly sin, and it resonated with me...he was speaking about me. Ouch.
Here's some of his stuff on this stuffy sin:
"There is one vice of which no man in the world is free; which every one in the world loathes when he sees it in someone else; and of which hardly any people, except Christians, ever imagine that they are guilty themselves.
There is no fault which makes a man more unpopular, and no fault which we are more unconcious of in ourselves. And the more we have it ourselves, the more we dislike it in others."
"Unchastity, anger, greed, drunkenness, and all that, are mere fleabites in comparison; it was through Pride that the devil became the devil: Pride leads to every other vice: it is the complete anti-God state of mind."
"Now what you want to get clear is that Pride is essentially competitive - is competetitive by its very nature - while the other vices are competetive only, so to speak, by accident. Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man. We say that people are proud of being rich, or clever, or good-looking, but they are not. They are proud of being richer, or cleverer, or better-looking than others. It is the comparison that makes you proud: the pleasure of being above the rest."
"If anyone would like to acquire humility, I can, I think, tell him the first step. The first step is to realize that one is proud. And a biggish step too. At least, nothing whatever can be done before it. If you think you are not conceited, it means you are very conceited indeed."
Here is one of my favorite paragraphs - it describes the opposite of pride in a man:
"Probably all you will think about him is that he seemed a cheerful, intelligent chap who took a real interest in what you said to him. If you do not dislike him it will be because you feel a little envious of anyone who seems to enjoy life so easily. He will not be thinking about humility: he will not be thinking about himself at all."
If you think you are conceited, come on Sunday and join a bunch of other conceited followers of Jesus. Maybe together we'll learn to be humble, like Jesus.