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Pride Reaches, but Never Grasps

I remember somewhere in the time of junior high, I loved to worship God, but a war raged inside me. When I was alone I was fine, but when it would come to a service, I’d get lost in my own struggles.

I was proud because while my other friends and peers had given up any demonstration of praise in public because they were too cool, I stood my ground. I was going against the grain and standing alone. That was until another guy moved in on my territory (and I kid you not, that’s how I thought of it at the time).

I realize part of this can be chalked up to adolescence, but this has always stuck with me. My pride had produced a competition–totally unknown to this other person–and sucked all the joy out of something I loved and was made to do.

From Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

It is this comparison of ourselves with others that will constantly tear at us if we let it.

We put ourselves above the lowly drug-addicted mother who lost her kids to the social system.

We see ourselves higher than the brother in our church who struggles with pornography

We praise ourselves for not falling prey to divorce like that “other couple”

The list could be 100 miles long. I may not have mentioned something that applies to you, but if you think hard enough, you can probably come up with something from the last day, week, month, or year.

Pride competes, cuts, envies, mocks, rejects, spurns… Pride is the enemy of compassion and the antithesis of love. I believe what Mr. Lewis says is true, “it is the complete anti-God state of mind,” and “as long as you are proud you cannot know God.”

We know 1 Corinthians 13 as the ‘love chapter’ with all the lists of what love is and isn’t. If we were to insert the opposite, it would be pride. It keeps reaching and reaching, but it’s never satisfied. Joy, contentment, and peace are always just beyond grasp.

We may always struggle with it to some degree, but we have a powerful grace, the leading of the Holy Spirit, and His unfailing love and Word to see us through. Pride doesn’t have to rule our lives. He died (and rose again) to make sure of it.

Do you ever find yourself falling into the comparison trap? What other fruits of pride have you seen?


This is the part of our book club discussion on Week 18 of Mere Christianity (disclosure) by C.S. Lewis. We are taking a sentence, paragraph, or passage that inspires, encourages, or challenges and writing about it. If you have a response on your blog, add it in the link widget below and be sure to check out the other entries. Also head over to my friend and co-facilitator, Sarah Salter’s blog for another great take. Whether you’ve read the chapter or not, please share your thoughts! We always appreciate a vibrant conversation.


14 Comments

  1. I used to, but not so much anymore. I do my best not to pay attention to what’s going on around me with others. Because if I try to find my validation in something else other than Him, I’m in trouble.
    Michael recently posted..On InsanityMy Profile

    • That’s it exactly. If we are validated by others or looking at others, we’ll be torn down the same way (definitely learned that the hard way). Thanks Michael.

  2. I believe it was Chuck Swindoll who once wrote a devotion in which he said, “Comparisons are odious.” I had to look up that word 🙂 but it is true. They are good for nothing and damaging. I had, and sometimes have, a hard time time not comparing myself to others and their “success.” But by God’s grace, I am getting free of that trap. Good thought today Jason.
    bill (cycleguy) recently posted..RelevantMy Profile

    • It’s a worthwhile fight, Bill. It’s such an easy trap to fall into and it’s so destructive. Thanks sir.

  3. Oh boy, this is so convicting. Praying the Holy Spirit will work overtime to eliminate any pride from my soul.
    Blessings to you!
    Cherie
    Cherie Hill recently posted..Waiting On God -- NEW EBOOK! (Bonus Feature!)My Profile

    • Yes and amen to that. As Lewis said, pride is what made the devil the devil. Gotta get rid of it! Thanks Cherie.

  4. I struggle with pride daily. I do not like it, but it is true.

    A lot of things come easy to me, they always have… it is extremely tempting to hold that over others who may struggle with something I breeze through.

    Even as I typed the statement above, I can see the pride dripping from it. I am not good at everything. There are so many things that others are better at… There are so many things I can not do…

    I have nothing to be proud for. We each have been created according to His purpose.
    Dusty Rayburn recently posted..Guilty of Pride While Attempting to Serve God in HumilityMy Profile

    • I know exactly what you mean. I have to remind myself (and allow the Holy Spirit to show) that we each have a part in the body of Christ and even those outside were created with a purpose and gifting. It’s all about Him and His glory! Thanks for your honesty, Dusty. I’m with you!

  5. Yes, I do. I usually see myself coming up as short, but not always. Still, it’s not like seeing myself coming up short is humility, because I’m still grasping at “beating” someone rather than becoming who God made me to be.

    I will post and link on Mere Christianity tomorrow, since today is a National Holiday! 🙂 Okay, it’s only a holiday in my household. That’s fine by me! 🙂
    Helen recently posted..The Packing is Over….My Profile

    • I understand, Helen. It’s just as deceptive that way as the other. And glad you’ll link up tomorrow--I always love reading your thoughts. I’ll declare it Bob and Helen Day at my house too and we’ll have a big feast in your honor for dinner. You don’t have to beg me to join a celebration! Thanks so much.

  6. Me? in the comparison trap? Never? Well, nort of never. OK, maybe sometimes. Well, maybe more than sometimes. Ok, Ok, back off, I get it.

    Good post, Jason. Thanks for hosting.
    Glynn recently posted..My PreciousMy Profile

    • No, I totally didn’t mean you, Glynn. I was just talking to everyone else. 🙂 Thanks.

  7. I think I used to as well -- when I was younger. But I was usually a leader not a follower -- so quickly people began to imitate me -- even in church and as soon as I learned that it was not un-cool to worship -- I was okay with it. I do care about how I am viewed by others and what they think of me -- it shouldn’t matter to me -- but it is something that I think we all struggle with from time to time. I try not to compare myself with others -- but I know that others have been “jealous” and have shown that behavior toward me over the years -- if I’m happy -- or positive -- or things seem to be going well etc. It is then that I really feel it on the flip side.
    Cindy Holman recently posted..And So It Begins…My Profile

    • Mr. Lewis talks about that too--that caring what others think is not the insidious kid of pride. It’s the thinking so much of what others think that it changes us or alters what we do in relationship to God. Good to bring up. Thanks Cindy.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Jason Stasyszen - New Blog Post: Pride Reaches, but Never Grasps http://ow.ly/1dTet7
  2. Sarah Salter - RT @br8kthru: New Blog Post: Pride Reaches, but Never Grasps http://ow.ly/1dTet7
  3. Dusty Rayburn - RT @br8kthru: Pride Reaches, but Never Grasps http://t.co/0zWaxma
  4. Jason Stasyszen - Discussing Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis- Pride Reaches, but Never Grasps http://ow.ly/5J9k8
  5. Jason Stasyszen - RT @sarahmsalter: RT @br8kthru: New Blog Post: Pride Reaches, but Never Grasps http://ow.ly/1dTet7 <<thanks Sarah!
  6. Jason Stasyszen - Don't know what happened to the link widget, but I got it back now! Join the discussion of Mere Christianity…
  7. Jason Stasyszen - RT @dlrayburn: RT @br8kthru: Pride Reaches, but Never Grasps http://t.co/0zWaxma <<appreciate it sir!
  8. Sarah Salter - RT @br8kthru: Don't know what happened to the link widget but I got it back now! Join the discussion of…
  9. Helenatrandom - RT @br8kthru: Pride Reaches, but Never Grasps http://t.co/CBI7I2Z
  10. Jason Stasyszen - RT @helenatrandom: RT @br8kthru: Pride Reaches, but Never Grasps http://t.co/CBI7I2Z <<thank you Helen
  11. Glynn Young - Pride reaches but never grasps, by @br8kthru at Connecting to Impact. http://bit.ly/nqIXns
  12. nance - Our host @br8kthru for the reading of Mere Christianity . http://t.co/H0ruCeN
  13. Jason Stasyszen - RT @nmdr_: Our host @br8kthru for the reading of Mere Christianity . http://t.co/H0ruCeN <<thank you, Nance :)

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