Humility Puts Off Pride, One Of The Seven Deadly Sins
The Seven Deadly Sins
Where did we get "The Seven Deadly Sins"?
From whence came the term "the seven deadly sins" one might ask, as they have no place of listing in The Bible, per se. Originally, they were conceived by the Christian monk Evagrius Ponticus, who in the late fourth century refined a list of eight patterns of evil thoughts from which all sinful behavior springs. A staunch supporter of Origen, he was considered heretical and thus most of his writings were destroyed. Regarding the concept of the eight thought processes, Pope Gregory I made a revision of them and categorized them as the more commonly known list of the "Seven Deadly Sins."
"Seven Sins" are contrasted with "Seven Virtues."
Popularity cameto the "deadly sins" as they were authored by Dante in his epic poem, The Divine Comedy when he described the "Terraces of Purgatory." These sins are categorized as, lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy and pride.
Contrary to these seven deadly sins are found the "seven holy virtues" which are chastity, abstinence, temperance, diligence, patience, kindness and humility. Practicing these virtues will allegedly protect one from the temptation of the counterpart deadly sin.
Dante popularized The Seven Deadly Sins
Pride, one of the seven deadly sins, adds weight to your soul.
Pride, one of the seven deadly sins, is the "universal sin" in that it affects everyone.
In every list of these seven deadly sins, pride is considered the most serious and the source from which all the others arise. "Pride is the universal sin, the great vice", warned President Ezra Taft Benson, of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, The Mormons. He continued, "the antidote for pride is humility-meekness, submissiveness. It is the broken heart and contrite Spirit."
In Dante's Divine Comedy, the repentant were forced to walk with stone slabs attached to their backs causing them to bend forward, unable to stand up straight. The teaching of this example is that pride puts weight on the soul and it is better to throw it off, or get rid of that unnecessary burden.
Man's ways are prideful and are not God's ways are about humility.
For the Christian and Non-Christian alike, pride is a stumbling block. It fosters the belief that one essentially has no need of a God or the nature of His grace. It reinforces the thought process that ones own abilities are all that is needed to progress.
Conversely, philosophers like Nietzsche, see pride as positive and a correct life-affirming attitude to have, it fosters a celebration of one's achievements and provides a way to promote self worth. The suggestion is even made that without pride there would be no progress. With these conflicting opinions who of all of them are correct?
Putting off pride, Humility is born.
Pride, one of the seven deadly sins, is enmity, or a state of opposition.
The definitions of pride by the standards of the world are as follows: the quality or state of being proud, inordinate self-esteem, a reasonable or justifiable self-respect, an ostentatious display, a showy or impressive group. By looking at the way God uses the term in His holy writ we can come to understand His definition of pride in contrast to that of the world. In the scriptures there is never an instance where pride is used in a righteous way, it is always considered a sin.
President Benson adds, "Most of us think of pride as self-centeredness, conceit, boastfulness, arrogance, or haughtiness. All of these are elements of the sin, but the heart, or core, is still missing. The central feature of pride is enmity - enmity toward God and enmity toward our fellowmen. Enmity means ‘hatred toward, hostility to, or a state of opposition.' It is the power by which Satan wishes to reign over us."
The Prayer of the Children
In what way do we display enmity toward our God?
When we place ourselves in a state of competition with God, allowing our competitive nature to reign, we place ourselves in opposition to Him. We actually refuse to submit our will to His, believing it should be "my will and not thine be done." This is a process that allows desires, appetites and passions to go unbridled, with the mentality "if it feels good, do it" ruling our choices.
We refuse to accept the authority of God in our lives and do not allow Him to give us direction. Our perceptions of truth, our abilities, our accomplishments overshadow His mighty works and become the standards to live by. These actions could be labeled, hard-heartedness, rebellion, stiff-neckedness, unrepentant, puffed up, easily offended, and sign seekers. "The proud wish God would agree with them. They aren't interested in changing their opinion to agree with God's" (Benson)
More by C.S. Lewis
How do we display enmity toward our fellowmen?
C.S. Lewis wrote, "Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man... 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."
When we elevate ourselves above another and seek to diminish their worth, we are participating in the mode of enmity. Being caught up in pride one might be more concerned about having greater wages than another and less concerned with the fact that their actual needs are being met, this can lead to ingratitude and selfishness. The prideful worry more about mans judgments than Gods, as the shouts of the world's standards ring loud in their ears.
Beware of Pride By Ezra Taft Benson
Landmark talk by Ezra Taft Benson, president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
The many faces of Pride.
Pride has several faces. It can be seen in selfishness, with attitudes like, "how will this affect me?" It is visible in disobedience, as a power struggle against authority no matter if it be a parent, teacher, boss, or ultimately God. "A proud person hates the fact that someone is above him. He thinks this lowers his position." (Benson)
Pride is manifest in contention, arguments, fights and all manner of disturbances. The proud are offended easily and they hold grudges being unwilling to forgive. They become defensive and do not receive correction well; they begin to rationalize their frailties and failures. They are unteachable, and stubborn, "they won't change their minds to accept truths, because to do so implies they have been wrong."
This Mormon Prophet warned the world about pride.
It is often hard to detect "pride" in ourself.
"Pride is a sin that can readily be seen in others but is rarely admitted in ourselves. Most of us consider pride to be a sin of those on the top, such as the rich and the learned, looking down at the rest of us. There is, however, a far more common ailment among us-that is pride from the bottom looking up. It is manifest in so many ways, such as faultfinding, gossiping, backbiting, murmuring, living beyond our means, envying, coveting, withholding gratitude and praise that might lift another, and being unforgiving and jealous."(Benson) It is for this reason that President Benson considered pride a "universal sin", there are none who are immune to it or the effects of it.
Humility in action, combats pride.
What can we do to combat pride in our lives? Practice Humility!
The answer is quite simple, we can practice humility. Humility however, must be a conscious choice we make, and an attempted change of lifestyle daily. Every encounter we face can bring an element of pride with it, and a chance to practice humility.
We can choose to be forgiving, to receive council and chastisement graciously, render service to others, esteeming others as ourselves. We can become builders, lifting others as high as or higher than we are. We can submit our will to the Lord, and live in harmony with His teachings and commandments, and upon stumbling in our natural state; we can repent and start anew each time the need arises.
In this way we can apply the Atonement in our lives and once again regain fellowship with Christ, pushing aside that natural tendency for enmity, and putting off our pride.
"The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee, thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high; that saith in his heart, Who shall bring me down to the ground?
Though thou exalt thyself as the eagle, and though thou set thy nest among the stars, thence will I bring thee down, saith the Lord."
"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."
- Pride quotes
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Famous Quotes about Pride
- "It is better to lose your pride with someone you love rather than to lose that someone you love with your useless pride."
- "A proud man is always looking down on things and people; and, of course, as long as you're looking down, you can't see something that's above you."- C.S. Lewis
- "Temper gets you into trouble. Pride keeps you there."
- "In general, pride is at the bottom of all great mistakes."- John Ruskin
- "No one ever choked to death swallowing his pride."
- "Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." -Kahlil Gibran
- "Pride makes us artificial and humility makes us real."- Thomas Merton
- "Pride is a vice, which pride itself inclines every man to find in others, and to overlook in himself."- Samuel Johnson