I knew that if I looked through some of C.S. Lewis' writings I would find that his thoughts on pride were similar to mine (or maybe mine are similar to his! Let me not kid myself! Ha ha!). Read what he says, this is worth your while:

"According to Christian teachers, the essential vice, the utmost evil, is Pride. Unchastity, anger greed, drunkeness, and all that, are mere fleabites in comparison: 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...."

It keeps getting so good and making me even more uncomfortable as I read! I love it!
Look at this and chew on it:

"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 everyone else's pride. It is because I wanted to be the big noise at the party that I am so annoyed at someone else being the big noise. Two of a trade never agree. Now what you want is clear is that Pride is essentially competitive--is competitive by its very nature--while the other vices are competitive only, so to speak, by accident. Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man. We say that people are proud of being rich, or clever, or good-looking, but they are not. They are proud of being richer, or cleverer, or better-looking than others. If everyone else became equally rich, or clever, or good-looking, there would be nothing to be proud about. It is the comparison that makes you proud: the pleasure of being above the rest. Once the element of competition has gone, pride has gone. That is why I say that Pride is essentially competitive in a way other vices are not. The sexual impulse may drive two men into competition if they both want the same girl. But that is only by accident; they might just as likely have wanted two different kind of girls. But a proud man will take your girl from you, not because he wants her, but just to prove to himself that he is a better man than you. Greed may drive men into competition if there is not enough to go round; but the proud man, even when he has got more than he can possibly want, will try to get still more just to assert his power. Nearly all those evils in the world which people put down to greed or selfishness are really far more the result of pride..."


Jeannie said...

Odd that you should bring this up...the topic of self-love is following me around. Here are 2 quotes that I have written on index cards in my room:

"Do not listen to the voice that suggests that you live for yourself. The voice of self-love is even more powerful than the voice of the serpent."

"Often, when you suffer, it is the life of your self-love that causes you pain...do not add to the cross of your life by becoming so busy that you have no time to sit quietly before God."

R said...

Yes, we are decieved easily when Oprah tells us to just love ourselves and the world will go round as it should. Lewis would even say that it is better to love yourself than to love no one...at least you would be capable of love even though it is totally wrong and misplaced. (I greatly paraphrasing)I do think indifference is dangerous as well.

Thank you for your quotes. Pride is an ever-present struggle in my life (I give it a lot of thought)and I think sometimes in our Christian lives we discount it and don't see the main issue---fighting with God and not fighting with the flesh.