The Wisdom of C.S Lewis


This was in my “good morning” email cacophony. A nugget of treasure amidst spam. Oh how clearly, devilishly I can see the face of anorexia in the quote about pride. 

Father, keep me back from pride. Instill in me a humility that radiates from gratitude to you, fellowship with you and confidence in you. 

 

If you want to find out how proud you are the easiest way is to ask yourself, ‘How much do I dislike it when other people snub me, or refuse to take any notice of me, or shove their oar in, or patronise me, or show off?’ The point is that each person’s pride is in competition with every one else’s pride. It is because I wanted to be the big noise at the party that I am so annoyed at someone else being the big noise. Two of a trade never agree. Now what you want to get clear is that Pride isessentially competitive—is competitive by its very nature— while the other vices are competitive only, so to speak, by accident. Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man. We say that people are proud of being rich, or clever, or good-looking, but they are not. They are proud of being richer, or cleverer, or better-looking than others. If everyone else became equally rich, or clever, or good-looking there would be nothing to be proud about. 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. That is why I say that Pride is essentially competitive in a way the other vices are not. . . . . Greed may drive men into competition if there is not enough to go round; but the proud man, even when he has got more than he can possibly want, will try to get still more just to assert his power. Nearly all those evils in the world which people put down to greed or selfishness are really far more the result of Pride.

From Mere Christianity

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2 thoughts on “The Wisdom of C.S Lewis

  1. I revisited this and it’s so true. Pride often does come before a fall. It happened to me some years ago. There is a real danger if we pin too much on one thing. If we lose that thing or it is affected in some way, the impact can be devastating, Jesus’ teaching wasn’t to impose rules on us just for the sake of us, but to stop us from damaging ourselves and to help us safely fulfil our real purpose in life. We need his humility and at the same time we need to respect ourselves and then others are more likely to do the same. “Humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less”

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