Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Pride of the spirit

Pride, of course, is the head of the family of the seven capital sins in Christian tradition, the granddaddy of evil. It might seem like it only appears in the ownership of mansions, sportscars, and the ability to command untold numbers of other people to fan you with banana leaves. But pride is a problem of anyone who can somehow look in the mirror and pronounce the word invincible.

You may remember the story in the Bible of the Pharisee and the tax collector who visit the Temple to pray (Luke 18:9-14 ). The tax collector who earns his bread by extorting from his own people the large taxes and tolls the occupying Roman forces require knows he is a terrible sinner and makes no bones about it. He buries his face in his hands and begs God for mercy.

The Pharisee, a ¨religiοus man¨, feels no such guilt or need for divine help. He smugly thanks God he is not like that sinner, the tax collector, and then goes on to bend the Almighty’s ear with his ¨ hefty spiritual accomplishments¨. He somehow forgets to mention any possible failures. This is a man who knows his strengths but is unfamiliar with his weaknesses!!

Such is the sound of spiritual pride or arrogance.

In God’s eyes, spiritual arrogance is not to be taken lightly
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