Do you know what the great sin is?
If you didn’t…
Pride, is the answer!
Pride is nothing to celebrate, really. The world may say otherwise, but pride leads to a multitude of sins. It is the great sin.
C.S. Lewis, in my recent reading time, explains this in Mere Christianity. I’ll be quoting quite a bit from this book in this post.
“According to Christian teachers, the essential vice, the utmost evil, is Pride.” So what does that mean?
Lewis goes on to say, “it was through Pride that the devil became the devil: Pride leads to every other vice: it is the complete anti-God state of mind.”
Pride has been at the root of every evil since the beginning. All through the Bible, we see witness of such.
Most recently, in my Bible Study Fellowship, we went over the book of Jonah for one week. One can conclude that Jonah was also a victim of pride. Why did he run away when God told him to go to Ninevah? God told him and Jonah was like “Dueces” and bounced, boarding a boat and attempting to flee. He had the nerve to sleep below deck like nothing was amiss above with a raging storm. Once awaken, did he call attention to the fact that it was because of him? No, he waited til the sailors cast lots!
In the story of Jonah, that’s only the beginning. Pride in himself and where he came from kept him in rebellion against God. He thought the people of Ninevah weren’t worth saving, they were too far gone. We see that isn’t the case, though.
Once thrown into the sea, Jonah is rescued or swallowed (really depends how you look at it) by a whale and remains there three days (look deeper into scripture and check out the connections in this story to Jesus!), he finally experiences God’s mercy and doesn’t rebel against what God again tells him to do.
I guess Jonah found God meant business. We don’t know Jonah’s heart at that time, we also don’t know if he only obeyed out of fear of going into the belly of a whale again, or something worse.
So Jonah obeys, the people immediately repent and turn to God. It’s a great story! Is that the end?
No. We see Jonah once again struggling with pride. The people have turned and have been offered mercy from God’s wrath of destruction. They were on the verge of being destroyed, per Jonah’s message from God! This did not bring joyous tears to Jonah, only anger.
Have you ever felt that way? Jonah was a prophet of God and he was human. We’re continually reminded of Romans 3:23 aren’t we?
Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man.C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
Perhaps something good that we do see in Jonah is his constant communication with God. Yes, he was angry, but he also let God know. He didn’t just let it boil. God knows our heart whether we talk to him or not, but God wants us to come to him with these things.
God asks Jonah more than once, Is it right for you to be angry?
Why do we get upset about things? I think the root of that question may fall into pride, too. Most of the time, we are angry about something done to us or something done that effects us. Pride is also at the root when we try to act like Him and think we know who deserves mercy and grace, and who doesn’t. In the end, God is the only judge and His love, grace and mercy is for all people, not just a few or the people who do 90% correct.
But pride always means enmity – it is enmity. And not only enmity between man and man, but enmity with God.
As long as you are proud you cannot know God. A proud man is always looking down on things and people: and, of course, as long as you are looking down, you cannot see something that is above you.C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
Grab yourself a copy of Mere Christianity! It’s been a great read so far. How he writes, he logically takes someone from right and wrong, to depending on God.
Jonah is a short read, only 4 chapters! I encourage you to read it. You may learn something new, even if you’ve read it before. God reveals things at different times. What will He reveal to you today?
4 Comments Add yours
Thank you for this! Sadly, I believe we all have some pride we have to deal with. And maybe we even have to keep dealing with it? Since I have yet to read a Lewis book, perhaps Mere Christianity should be first on my list? Thanks, Summer! Have a great Monday and week!
Yes, we do. I think we’ll battle it in some form all of our lives. It’s like the flesh – we’re constantly battling with it, whether to let flesh win or the Spirit win.
Yes, I would say it would be a great start! I learned today that the band Sixpence None the Richer was named in honor of that book. What are the odds? Great band, by the way.
Thank you, Bridget!! You as well. ☺️☺️
Wow! That’s an interesting fact! And I was just watching a Hallmark Christmas movie with Rachel Leigh Cook, who was in She’s All That, in which a Sixpence None the Richer song was in. So we’ve come full circle 😂
That’s hilarious!! Lol 😆