The Great Sin

Here in this chapter, Lewis arrives at the root of virtually every sin in existence… Pride.

Lewis makes a very convincing argument for pride being the greatest sin (such an odd expression to use) in human existence. For in fact, pride is a primary motivating factor for so many of us today (and yesterday). He even gives some simple self-diagnosing questions to ask to determine whether or not the reader themselves are prideful. And you know what? If you think you are not, then you are.

For years I have wrestled with pride, especially in intellectual matters. It has been a temptation to look at my education and experience as a reason to declare myself superior in some areas. Sometimes I have even been tempted to declare myself better than someone else simply because of where my relationship with God stood compared to theirs (to which I probably dashed my own relationship on the rocks merely by thinking such thoughts). We crave to be above the rest of those around us. This sin Lewis ascribes not to human nature like the rest he has covered so far, but it is from hell itself. It is a foreign assault on our souls. But I wonder if pride is not indeed a part of human nature?

One thing that really stuck out to me is that Lewis depicts pride always means enmity. Other sins can actually draw people together, but pride will always distance oneself from those around him (or her). I was also struck by Lewis’ remarks on pride being a check for vanity, allowing us to not depend on the compliments and fawning of those around us to boost ourselves up or make us feel good about ourselves. I would agree that we need to maintain a healthy balance. (In fact I am reminded of a rant by Dr. Cox on Scrubs about the need for some pride in one’s self in order to inspire confidence in one’s patients. I tried posting it below, but I can’t find the whole clip. Enjoy what I could find).

What do you think about Pride?