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Humility Puts Off Pride, One Of The Seven Deadly Sins

Updated on August 19, 2011

The Seven Deadly Sins

These seven vices are stumbling blocks for a happy life.
These seven vices are stumbling blocks for a happy life.

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

Dante gazes at Mount Purgatory in an allegorical portrait by Agnolo Bronzino, painted circa 1530.
Dante gazes at Mount Purgatory in an allegorical portrait by Agnolo Bronzino, painted circa 1530.

Pride, one of the seven deadly sins, adds weight to your soul.

Depiction of Dante's Purgatory
Depiction of Dante's Purgatory

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.

The Lamb shall lie down with the Lion.
The Lamb shall lie down with the Lion.

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.

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.

Ezra Taft Benson, gave a landmark talk called, "Beware of Pride", in which several of these issues are discussed in detail.
Ezra Taft Benson, gave a landmark talk called, "Beware of Pride", in which several of these issues are discussed in detail.

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.

Jesus Christ showed humility as he washed his disciple's feet.
Jesus Christ showed humility as he washed his disciple's feet.

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.

Obadiah 1:3-4

"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."

Proverbs 16:18-19

"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."

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

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    • profile image

      Sabrinadean 

      2 years ago

      My daily spiritual bread. Thank you Jesus that you have given your creature the Holy Spirit to inspire us n give us wisdom to be able to share your words of heart to make our day healthly. It also make us walk in your steps and make us humble christians for those creatures who are not yet aware about the blessings of humility and danger of pride to gradually make the ultimate choice: JESUS CHRIST THE UNIVERSAL KING WHO BOW HIMSELF TO WASH OUR FEET AND FOR US TO HUMBLY BOW TO HIS SCARS FEET TO THAT OUR SINS HAVE BEEN ERASED.

      G L O R Y TO Y O U: MY LORD JESUS!

      A M E N

    • profile image

      Nova Sky 

      5 years ago

      I think what I enjoyed the most was your level of detail. I especially liked the comment about humility being a concious choice. It's interesting, (normall) our natural responses involve pride. It's only when we train ourselves to be humble in light of God's Word (rather than how great we think we are or how important we think our wants are).

      I posted a hub regarding the specific topic of humility as well, if you have a chance.

      Great Hub!

    • profile image

      dame kemzy 

      6 years ago

      how can we live our life without pride

    • lone77star profile image

      Rod Martin Jr 

      7 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Doghouse, awesome! Some people seem lost without the self-esteem of pride. But so often people attempt to be good so that they can be seen as good. This is pure evil and at the heart of pride. One can do all manner of good in anonymity without fear, for God gives us a far greater reward than we can gain from our peers.

      It has seemed to me in recent years that ego is the root of all evil (all of the 7 deadlies and more). And as humility is the antidote for pride, it seems to be the antidote for ego, too.

      The closest I've ever been to God involved a miracle like that of Moses parting the sea. I had just taken responsibility for the trespass of others against me. So thorough was that forgiveness that it took me 30 years to realize that they were the first to obey God's command in coming to my aid. Any grudge I'd had had melted completely. Besides responsibility, I felt the most profound humility and awe, plus an unshakable faith (confidence).

      Humble confidence is not an oxymoron as some might think. It is the essence of salvation, and the fulfillment of what Christ's sacrifice was all about.

      I long to live their permanently, but have only had a taste of that redemption. Humility toward the scriptures is key, for there are many more seeds of wisdom to be planted.

    • TimeHealsAll profile image

      TimeHealsAll 

      7 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

      A much needed hub. Very imformative and well written. Well worth the read! Thank you!

    • einron profile image

      einron 

      7 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, CANADA

      Very well written! Thank you.

    • Timely profile image

      Timely 

      8 years ago from United States

      Great hub! Pride is a sin often undisclosed in repentance. It wears so many faces and buries itself to where we don't recognize it to confess.

      Your presentation left no room for grey, glad I found it:)

    • profile image

      Mormon Soprano 

      9 years ago

      This is a wonderful and pertinent HUB. The movies are terribly sad - but I suppose you chose them to help invoke humility (which they certainly do)

      I love the quote by President Benson about pride looking up. Very true.

      Thank you for all your work on this

    • In The Doghouse profile imageAUTHOR

      In The Doghouse 

      9 years ago from California

      Scott,

      I just feel that with the issues concerning our nation today, Pride has to be one of the greatest ones to overcome. We all need to take a better look at ourselves, individually on this issue. Thanks.

    • profile image

      Scott P Chester 

      9 years ago

      I like the idea of pride looking up from the bottom. I totally agree, but I hadn't seen it that way before. I hope I can be more careful of my pride now. Thanks!

    • In The Doghouse profile imageAUTHOR

      In The Doghouse 

      9 years ago from California

      Tracy,

      I am glad you enjoyed it.

    • profile image

      Tracy 

      9 years ago

      very informative hub....!!!!!!!!!! :)

    • In The Doghouse profile imageAUTHOR

      In The Doghouse 

      10 years ago from California

      vijayanths

      Thank you for your kind comment. It is so true that pride can be the inhibitor of many great blessings, even such as wisdom. Thank you for reading.

    • profile image

      vijayanths 

      10 years ago

      pride will blind your wisdom. great hub, thanks.

    • In The Doghouse profile imageAUTHOR

      In The Doghouse 

      10 years ago from California

      Rob

      Great addition to the Hub, I contemplated writing about the "War in Heaven" in here also, you are a mind reader! lol Pride is something that is so prevalent in all of us, that just recognizing some of it's attributes is so therapeutic for me. Every day it is a struggle and process to become more humble and submissive to the will of the Lord, but that is simply the journey we call life, now isn't it? Thanks again for your comments.

    • Rob Jundt profile image

      Rob Jundt 

      10 years ago from Midwest USA

      I heartily agree with you here. Without pride, the devil would have never been evicted from Heaven. Hence, the world as we know it would be as God intended. Great job again. He is risen. He is risen indeed!

    • In The Doghouse profile imageAUTHOR

      In The Doghouse 

      10 years ago from California

      Commentonthis

      Thank you for your comments. Yes, I would have to agree, with you when you suggest that people try to make a deal with God, or have His ways become their ways. It simply isn't that way.

    • commentonthis7 profile image

      commentonthis7 

      10 years ago

      Great hub and a lot of time people try to make a deal with God

    • In The Doghouse profile imageAUTHOR

      In The Doghouse 

      10 years ago from California

      Write On- Nana

      I too love the "landmark" talk written by a prophet of God. It is an amazing show of how our Father truly loves us and continues to give us guidance and council. The Book of Mormon is another example of the effects that "Pride" can have on your life, that is why we are encouraged to read it daily. Thank you for your comments.

    • In The Doghouse profile imageAUTHOR

      In The Doghouse 

      10 years ago from California

      tony f

      You are right my friend, but not in the end! I am especially grateful for my Savior Jesus Christ for taking care of that. Happy Easter, He is Risen!

    • Write On! profile image

      Write On! 

      10 years ago from United States

      Hi doghouse -

      President Benson's "classic" talk on pride will always stand as the "talk of all talks" on pride - for Mormons everywhere... and have much to teach all people about the sin of pride in our lives.

      From when I first heard President Benson give this address, it changed my life and has been truly words of a living prophet to live by...

      Very well done.

      tDMg

      LdsNana-AskMormon

    • tony f profile image

      tony f 

      10 years ago

      Great hub. The original sin - still gets us every time.

    • In The Doghouse profile imageAUTHOR

      In The Doghouse 

      10 years ago from California

      G-ma

      Thank you for your generous comments. I too love C.S. Lewis, his comments on pride are certainly noteworthy. The 10 Commandment would make the world a better place, I couldn't agree with you more. On Jay Leno one night as he was "Jay Walking" he asked the question to people on the street, "Name some of the 10 Commandments." Although it made for a funny spoof, it was also quite disheartening to learn that many people did't even know what the 10 Commandments were. I guess that is why it is so important for those of us who do, to teach. :) Hopefully by at least knowing what they are, we can attempt to live them more fully in our lives. It is difficult at times, but it is certainly a journey moving one step closer to living them every minute. Thanks again. Happy Easter to you as well.

    • G-Ma Johnson profile image

      Merle Ann Johnson 

      10 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

      Wonderful Hub...I liked it very much and the saying from C.S. Lewis is my favorite. One thing this all reminds me of is "The 10 Commandments", to me if they were followed there would be a happy world, maybe even peace....God Love You and HAPPY EASTER G-Ma :o) hugs

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