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Pride is inordinate esteem of oneself. It is inordinate because it is contrary to the truth. It is the will to be considered better than we really are. We express pride by taking personal credit for gifts or possessions actually received from God, by glorying in our achievements as if they were not primarily the result of God’s grace, or by minimizing our defects or claiming qualities we do not actually possess.
Pride is a direct violation of Christ’s highest command, Dt 6:5, Mt 22:37 that we love God with all our heart and soul and mind and strength. Pride rejects God as our shepherd and takes credit for what God has done. Torah says, Dt 8:17 “Beware lest you say in your heart, ’my power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.’ You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth.” The proud man thinks, “I’m important,” when the truth is, “God is important. I serve Him.” Pride caused Satan and one-third of the angels to fall to earth, and Adam and Eve to fall from grace. Jesus emptied Himself of the open manifestation of His divinity to live as a humble servant of His heavenly Father. We conquer pride by emptying ourselves so Jesus can fill our hearts.
When pride is carried to the extent that a person refuses to acknowledge dependence on God, or refuses to submit his will to God, it is a grave sin.
Pride differs from vanity. The proud person believes in his own excellence. The vain person wants others to believe that he is excellent.
We conquer pride through the capital virtue of humility.
Pride is the first of the seven capital sins, the original sin, the master sin from which the other capital sins flow. When we reject God as our shepherd, when we do what we want rather than what God wants, we become open to all the other sins.
The seven capital sins are pride, avarice, envy, wrath, lust, gluttony, and sloth. All the sins we commit are said to flow from these seven deadly sins.
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