Monday, December 11, 2006

Oh, Snap! Moment

Have you ever had one of those “Oh! Snap!” moments when all of the sudden you realize that you are completely and totally wrong? To say the least, I have had several while I’ve been reading Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis. I think this one book all Christians should read at some point in their life. The latest "Oh! Snap!" has to do with “the Great Sin”-Pride.

Now, I will be (or would have been) the first to tell you I am not prideful. In fact, I know people who are prideful and I am nothing like them. Humble to a fault I am. I’m proud of the fact I’m humble.

C.S. Lewis writes:
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.

I’ve always maintained that selfishness was the root of all sin, but once I consider this, pride is the underlying root of this egotistical behavior. If we were not proud of ourselves and thought we deserved special consideration, then selfish actions would not follow.

If that weren’t enough to put me in my place, consider this:
The more pride one had, the more one disliked pride in others. In fact, if you want to find out how proud you are the easiest way is to ask yourself, “How much do I dislike it when other people snub me, or refuse to take any notice of me, or shove their oar in, or patronize me, or show off?” The point is that each person’s pride is in competition with every one else’s pride.

I've never had anyone "shove their oar in" to my knowledge, but there's more:

That raises a terrible question. How is it that people who are quite obviously eaten up with pride can say they believe in God and appear themselves very religious? I am afraid it means they are worshipping an imaginary God. They theoretically admit themselves to be nothing in the presence of this phantom God, but are really all the time imagining how He approves of them and thinks them far better than ordinary people.

Oh, Snap!

I don’t think C.S. Lewis is saying that we can’t be proud of our kids or even of a job well done. We can be self-confident but I believe the real danger lies in thinking that by some feat or intellect that we were responsible for achieving anything worthwhile. Remember all of our works are like filthy rags in front of the Father. I am afraid that, in all honesty, I am prideful more often than not. Thankfully, this sin as all others will be forgiven by just asking and believing. One last thought:

It’s better to forget about yourself altogether.

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