I now come to that part of Christian morals where they differ most sharply from all other morals. 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: and the virtue opposite to it, in Christian morals, is called Humility.

from “The Great Sin” in Mere Christianity, C. S. Lewis

“For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
Consider Luke 14:1-11

“When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place.”
Read John 13:1-17

“Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all.”
Meditate on Mark 10:35-45

“In your relationships with one another, have the same attitude of mind Christ Jesus had: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage.” Memorize and apply Philippians 2:3-11

“Pride brings a person low, but the lowly in spirit gain honor.”
Never forget Proverbs 29:23

For an insightful article and contemporary application of both Lewis (above) and sinful pride, read “The real story behind the gay pride issue at St. Joan” by Katherine Kersten (a special thanks to my dear friend Bob for pointing me to Kersten’s article).

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2 Comments

  1. You could add Luke 18:9-14 to your list. The Pharisee is a prime example of self-righteousness (he mentions God only once in his prayer and himself four times), while the tax collector models humility. His prayer is one we should all be praying, “God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”

  2. Hey Ms. Cederquist…
    Excellent addition. Noting our status as sinners is always the correct starting point of an ascent toward a biblically responsible humility. Thanks for the contribution!!

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