This morning, reading through “The Business of Heaven – Daily Readings from C.S. Lewis” I came across some of his observations about pride. For example:
“According to Christian teachers, the essential vice, the utmost evil, is Pride. 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…”
“…Pride always means enmity – it is enmity. And not only enmity between man and man, but enmity to God. In God you come up against something which is in every respect immeasurably superior to yourself. Unless you know God as that – and, therefore, know yourself as nothing in comparison – you do not know God. A proud man is always looking down on things and people: and, of course, as long as you are looking down, you cannot see something that is above you.”
This reminds me of Jesus’s story about the Pharisee and the tax collector found in Luke 18:9-14
9 To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’
13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’
14 “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
A Prayer: Lord God, today save us from ourselves and the wickedness of pride that lurks like an assassin in every human soul. Give us a right view of ourselves. Not too low, for we are, after all, the pinnacle of your wonderful creation. But not too high, lest we look down on others and fail to see ourselves in right perspective to you. Let our humility and gentleness be evident to all, that we might truly represent your Son. For His sake, and in His name, we pray. Amen.