The Great Sin

Technically I wrote this about a month ago, but I just really love C.S. Lewis and thought I’d share it via blog post:

Having recently read C.S Lewis’ Mere Christianity, I would have thought that my favorite chapter would have been over something like forgiveness, charity, hope, or faith. Turns out the one that struck me the most was entitled “The Great Sin.” Sounds kinda scary, right? In it, pride was explained in thorough detail from the inside out, never beating around the bush.

Pride was explained as “the complete anti-God state of mind,” and even going further to say that, “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.” Rather than being triggered by our animal nature like anger and greed, pride is purely spiritual, making it all the more dangerous. As a spiritual cancer, it “eats up the very possibility of love, or contentment, or even common sense.” With vanity you aren’t content with your own admiration, seeking it instead from others. But with pride, “you look down on others so much that you do not care what they think of you.”

At the end of the chapter, it provided the key to attaining humility: to recognize and own up to your own prideful nature. For “if you think you are not conceited, it means you are very conceited indeed.” I was never one to think of myself as a prideful person, but after reading this brief eight page chapter I realized rather quickly that I grapple with this vice constantly. Whether it be through social media, the clothing I wear, or any other outlet of my life.

Having a humble heart was never something I particularly prayed for in the past. But having recognized my own shortcomings in this particular area, I now see having a humble heart as an absolutely vital component to my Christian identity. The other chapters were amazingly wonderful, but this one seemed to have a brilliance all its own.

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