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Dangerous Pride

“The Hebrew word for pride comes from a root that means “to boil up”; it refers to a raging arrogance or insolence.” (Foundation Study Bible, Proverbs 11:2)

“It’s not a stretch in any way to equate pride with evil. Christian tradition teaches that Lucifer, the angel of light and music, committed the first sin ever, in Heaven no less, which is something many do not consider…Pride is the first sin that was committed in heaven and on earth. It was the voice of Lucifer that cried out: “I will ascend into heaven. I will exalt my throne above the stars of God.” (Isaiah 14: 13) It was the cause of the downfall of our first parents [on earth], Adam and Eve, because they thought they could be like God.” (Sacramental Living Blog, Rev. Robert E. Lucas)

“Evil entered into this world when humans turned from God, made themselves gods, and fell into pride and arrogance…Pride keeps us from living according to the will of God, and it causes us to focus only on self…Every disciple of the Lord needs to realize that we cannot grow in humility unless we overcome deadly pride in ourselves.” (Abbot Tryphon, OCPM 9/21/2016)

"Christian spirituality has always taught that pride is the greatest sin of all. It is very difficult for non-Christians, particularly atheists and humanists, to understand why Christians say this. One can be forgiven for thinking that to call pride the greatest sin is an exaggeration...The reason pride is the greatest sin is that it is in fact the root and cause of so many sorrows and atrocities." (Archimandrite Vassilios Papavassiliou)

“We pride ourselves on our technological achievements, yet in this advanced and “enlightened” century [20th century] more than 50 million people have been systematically executed by their own governments.” (Clark Carlton)

“Pride is the mother of all sins, for it blinds us to our faults, puffs up our egos, and makes us think we are better than others. Pride makes us think we don’t need to change. We are blinded, thinking that we are good and that God must be pleased with us. We are steeped in the sin of self-­importance.” (Abbot Tryphon)

“Pride is the greatest spiritual illness. Just like a leach that clings to your body and sucks out your blood, pride also drains the entire inner person. It also brings about spiritual asphyxiation, because it depletes the soul of spiritual oxygen.” (Papa Demetri)

"In its purest form, pride is an opposition not only to the second great commandment, but also to the first: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength” (Deut. 6:5)...This is why, according to Christian Tradition, pride was the sin that brought down the devil. Most sins, particularly bodily sins, can often be put down to weakness, to our fallen condition. The devil had no such weakness or condition to contend with. His sin was pure, unadulterated pride. Thus it is the most demonic sin of all." (Archimandrite Vassilios Papavassiliou)

"Pride does not allow the soul to set out on the path of faith." (St. Silouan the Athonite)

“Evil is vanquished in the human soul when the person turns against his own pride and selfishness back toward God.” (Vigen Guroian)

“While it is good to respect our country and our church, our loyalties always carry a hidden danger—arrogance. When is pride harmful? When it causes us to (1) look down on others; (2) be selfish with our resources; (3) force our solutions on others’ problems; (4) think God is blessing us because of our own merits; (5) be content with our plans rather than seeking God’s plans.” (Life Application Study Bible, Jeremiah 13:15)

"Religious people are frequently guilty of such a charade. We say, “It’s God’s will,” but what we really mean is, “It’s my will.” We hear people say things like, “God told me to run for president,” “God wants me to be an entrepreneur,” “God wants me to be a priest,” or some such thing, but what we really mean by “God” is “I.” Pride is the deadliest sin because it often disguises itself as faith. And just as the devil was guilty of no other sin but pride, so too pride can condemn a Christian who has committed no other sins." (Archimandrite Vassilios Papavassiliou)

“The enemy of faith is pride, for pride destroys faith. Pride makes us believe we do not need God. It also leads many into the abyss of atheism, for it makes us believe there is nothing beyond ourselves. Pride leads us to believe that we are all-important and that nothing exists beyond ourselves. Once pride takes hold, our heart grows hard, and faith grows cold and dies.” (Abbot Tryphon)

“If we define self-esteem as “knowing our personal value in the eyes of our Creator,” we can say that is a good thing. On the other hand, valuing ourselves apart from our Creator is not a good thing—it is the seed of the sin of pride, the source of all sin. In other words, my sense of personal dignity and value can lead to boasting in my intrinsic worth apart from God and His grace if I do not acknowledge God’s work of grace in my life or God’s hand in my accomplishments.” (Father David L. Fontes, PsyD)

“Pride can be likened to a fixing agent that hardens the heart in iniquity…The lie of pride comes from the serpent, who tells us that we “will be like gods.” (OCPM 10/13/2016)

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