Pride's Litmus Tests
"Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall." (Prov 16:18)
Pride is considered the deadliest among the seven capital sins - not only because it greatly offends God but also because it is extremely difficult to detect; we know we are guilty of Lust when we ogle at the opposite sex; we know we are guilty of Anger when our blood is boiling with hatred; we know we are guilty of Gluttony by checking out the weighing scale.
But Pride? How can we detect it since its very nature blinds us to itself? Pride assures us that we are humble!
By God's Grace, I discovered the following litmus tests of Pride from Archbishop Fulton Sheen's edifying book, Victory Over Vice:
- Do you think you know all there is to know and resent all attempts by people to share knowledge with you?
- Do you seek honours and positions beyond your capacity?
- Do you have a strong unwillingness to hear your own faults?
- Do you show off your good deeds before people and God?
- Do you neglect thanking God for all your gifts and talents?
- Do you think you are better than most people?
- Do you try hard to impress people with your clothes, qualifications and 5 C's?
"To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: "Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other men—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.'
"But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, 'God, have mercy on me, a sinner.'
"I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted." (Luke 18:9-14)