Wednesday, November 28, 2007

C.S. Lewis on Pride

"How is it that people who are quite obviously eaten up with Pride can say they believe in God and appear to themselves as very religious? I am afraid it means they are worshipping an imaginary God. They theoretically admit themselves to be nothing in the prescence of this phantom God, but are really all the time imagining how He approves of them and thinks them far better than ordinary people: that is, they pay a pennyworth of imaginary humility to Him and get out of it a pound's worth of Pride towards their fellow-man. I suppose it was of those people Christ was thinking when He said that some would preach about Him and cast out devils in His name, only to be told at the end of the world that He had never known them. And any of us may at any moment be in this death-trap."
-C.S. Lewis in "Mere Christianity"

Reading this today hit me like a brick in the face. How often have I credited to myself by being Prideful what I should be paying to God in humility, all the while not being the wiser that I was in error? Some scriptures to add to this:

"Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. Better it is to be of a humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud" Proverbs 16:18-19

"For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world."
1 John 2:16

I admit, I think I realized why I like C.S. Lewis so much. Its not what he says so much as how he actually says it. The man had no theological education after all and quotes no scripture through 191 pages of an apologetic for Christianity, which would normally irk me. But, as I have to remind myself; this book arose from a series of radio broadcasts that were reaching a largely unchurched audience, and Lewis has a firm grasp of Christianity from a philisophical point of view. Since he was a professor of Literature his command of the English language and colorful use of metaphor and analogy is outstanding and always enjoyable to read.

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