Sunday, October 2, 2011

There Is One Vice Of Which No Man In The World Is Free

“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. I have heard people admit that they are bad-tempered, or that they cannot keep their heads about girls or drink, or even that they are cowards. I do not think I have ever heard anyone who was not a Christian accuse himself of this vice. And at the same time I have very seldom met anyone, who was not a Christian, who showed the slightest mercy to it in others. 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 vice I am talking of is Pride or Self-Conceit….” C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity.
Of all sins, pride is the most dangerous.  It was the first sin, but it is also a source of almost every sin because sin, at its heart, is the belief that, “we know best.”  And pride is such a tough thing to battle; it pokes its head up everywhere.  The moment we think we have it beat, the simple fact that we think we have it beat becomes a source of pride.

It is so easy to spot pride in someone else, isn’t it?  Yet, it can be difficult to see when we are prideful.  It is Satan’s main weapon and he does everything he can to mask it in our lives.

The opposite of pride is humility.  Humility does not mean thinking poorly of ourselves. Rather, it is not thinking about ourselves at all.

Easier said than done, right?  We must be constantly vigilant to fight this dreadful cancer. And we should be people who extend grace to people who are battling the disease of pride.   


  1. Personally, I'm proud of my humility. ;-)

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  3. Your post might need to distinguish between self-awareness, which isn't evil and when vainglory becomes disordered.

    If I'm singing in church and I want to sing well for God, but that requires keeping a close eye on my voice, is that evil in some sense? If I look at a fellow church goer and wish I could become holy like they are, is that evil as well? Common sense would at least point out that this isn't an example of pride, even though in both cases self-awareness is at work.

    I don't think Jesus or Paul were talking about Zen, when they were stressing humility.