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.