Do you want to be happy? Do you want to be able to give and receive love? C.S Lewis says that there is one major blockage for you to experience either of these things (and it’s certainly my experience too)
There are plenty of ultra positive, happy blogs out there that will only ever make you feel warm and fuzzy inside, but I do not want to be that guy. This post is hard to share because I hope it’s hard to read. I hope it’s hard to read because I want you to be willing to undergo surgery to get rid of what’s killing you.
Recently I wrote a blog on characteristics I’d use to describe myself. Here’s the list, vaguely from things I like, to things I don’t: (it was meant to have more than I actually wrote about)
- I love people
- Unorganised/lack of discipline
- Need to impress
I hope this post doesn’t feel like I’m pointing the finger. I’m just trying to share the things that are most challenging me right now. I struggle deeply with pride and I hope you can see it in your life too.
I desire your greatest joy. From what I’m finding, it only comes by treasuring God more than anything. Pride is the exact opposite of this, it is the wall that stops you from seeing Christ as all satisfying.
In Mere Christianity, C.S Lewis dedicates an entire chapter (I highly recommend you read it yourself) to what he labels “the great sin”. But for those of us who are happy with a summary, here are just a few extracts that are possibly the most challenging things I’ve ever read:
“There is one vice of which no man in the world is free; which everyone in the world loathes when he sees it in someone else and of which hardly any people, ever imagine that they are guilty themselves … There is no fault which makes a man more unpopular, and no fault which we are more unconscious of in ourselves. And the more we have it ourselves, the more we dislike it in others.
The utmost evil, is Pride. Unchastity, anger, greed, drunkenness, and all that, are mere flea bites 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.
It is Pride which has been the chief cause of misery in every nation and every family since the world began.
[The Devil] is perfectly content to see you becoming chaste and brave and self-controlled provided, all the time, he is setting up in you the Dictatorship of Pride—just as he would be quite content to see your chilbains cured if he was allowed, in return, to give you cancer. For Pride is spiritual cancer: it eats up the very possibility of love, or contentment, or even common sense.”
Pride is worse than Cancer
Statistically, cancer is one of the top two most feared diseases on the planet. I’ve never had cancer, I don’t know it’s full effects, but I’m still willing to say I think that pride is worse.
Physical cancer can stop your life early. Spiritual cancer can stop you from ever living in the first place.
What is life without love? Without contentment? Or without rational thought? It’s misery.
Proverbs 11:2 When pride comes, then comes disgrace
Proverbs 13:10 Pride leads to conflict
Proverbs 16:18 Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall
Galatians 6:3 For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.
Revelations 3:17-20 17 For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see. Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.
The bible gives us practical examples of people’s encounters with this:
- Uzziah’s full story in 2 Chronicles 26
- The stories of Haman in Esther 3–7
- Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 4
Maybe it was a mistake writing an entire post trying to get you to hate something that I didn’t really define. I know I keep promising series, but once again, there is too much here to explore at once. Here are the three parts of what I’m dividing this into:
- Should you hate pride? (This post)
- What is the nature of pride?
- What is the alternative?
If you’re eager to delve more into this, either go read Lewis’ full chapter, or check out some of these articles from a blog that I love:
As always, I’d love to chat. This stuff is super new to me and I’m very much learning as I’m going. I’d LOVE to hear your ideas or your journey with this. I’ll definitely get more personal as we travel onwards.