Nov 22, 2010

the complete anti-God state of mind

the sin that hides itself – part 2

‘I have no vices. I am a hero. Go and look it up in the dictionary and you will find a picture of me.’ That at least is what Chris Eubank told me.  But Chris was wrong for he was overlooking one crucial truth; pride is the greatest vice of all.

CS Lewis, who died this day 47 years ago, observes that pride is ‘ruthless, sleepless, unsmiling, concentration on the self’ and we surely as the ‘Hello’, ‘OK’, and Facebook generation are the generation most at ease with our pride.  We love life centred on ourselves.

And for those of us who doubt that pride has yet to infect us Lewis suggests a test.  ‘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 virus that infects everything

Pride is so dangerous because it turns everything I do, the good as well as the bad, into sin. It takes a great act of kindness and corrupts it into a self-serving sin. It’s a scary thought that even as I’m doing a favour for a friend a little voice is delivering a blunt message ‘don’t you feel good now’.

The silent killer

And then what does that look like when it comes to me and God? What if all that I do in God’s name is actually for my glory? No-one has put it more boldy that Martin Luther when he writes:

All those who do not in all their works or sufferings, life and death, trust in God’s favour, grace and good-will, but rather seek his favour in other things or in themselves, do not keep the [First] Commandment, and practice real idolatry. Even it they were to do the works of all the other Commandments, and in addition had all the prayers, fasting, obedience, patience, chastity, and innocence of all the saints combined.

It we doubt or do not believe that God is gracious and pleased with us, or if we presumptuously expect to please Him through our works, then all is pure deception, outwardly honouring God, but inwardly setting up self as a false saviour.  Note for yourself, then, how far apart these two are: keeping the first commandment with outward works only, and keeping it with inward [justifying faith]. For this last makes true, living children of God, the other only makes worse idolatry and the most mischievous hypocrites on earth.

Pride has only one cure – the gospel. For as we will see to truly know God is to humble ourselves and to truly know ourselves is to cease to be proud and to truly know Christ is to live life at the foot of the cross that alone can cure our pride.

1 Comment

  • This topic is crucial to the “TRUE CHURCH” of which Christ is the Head, and we, as born-again believers are the body. Pride is truly one of the most beguiling, sneaky, destructive, abominations among all. An imposter who portrays itself as “pain”, “anger”, “justification” “victimization, etc. All of us fall prey to it at some time in our lives. The only deliverance is through Christ. A short “story” was shared with me concerning pride: A small “church” wanted to honor the most humble person they could find among its congregation. They searched, and discussed at length before deciding on a gentleman who was a hard-working member, never complained, and did anything he could to help others. There was a small ceremony, and the man was awarded a pin that said simply “HUMILITY”.
    When the man wore the pin on his lapel during the next service, it was stripped away from him. Ahh! He had been so proud for being awarded a prize for being humble!

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