"the pride of life" (1 jn 2:16, kjv)
"By my own power I have done it, and by my wisdom, for I am shrewd." —Isaiah 10:13
Capital sins are "head" sins, that is, sins that lead the way to many other sins. Pride is the capital sin of the capital sins. "Every proud man is an abomination to the Lord; I assure you that he will not go unpunished" (Prv 16:5).
The Lord is stern with the proud (1 Pt 5:5). Because they would take credit for any blessing or revelation He gives them, the Lord usually hides His revelations (Mt 11:25) and withholds many of His blessings from them. Thus, the proud set the stage for a miserable life for themselves.
Under these circumstances, one might think that the proud would be wanting to repent. However, proud people are often proud of being proud (see Prv 1:30) — as stupid as that may seem. We naturally tend to be ego-maniacs. Pride is addictive. We are in an impossible situation. "Who can free us?" (Rm 7:24)
Jesus alone can save us from the pride which is destroying us. Jesus invites us to come and learn from Him, for He is "gentle and humble of heart" (Mt 11:28-29). The One Who humbled Himself even to death on the cross (Phil 2:8) will break the spell of pride and make us humble. Lord, have mercy!
Prayer: Father, help me recognize and take opportunities to humble myself (see Mt 23:12).
Promise: "No one knows the Son but the Father, and no one knows the Father but the Son — and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal Him." —Mt 11:27
Praise: When tempted to pride, April prays that the Lord reveal something to her about herself that will save her from an overinflated self-image.
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our tape on Pride and Faith on audio AV 64-1 or video V-64.)
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, December 4, 2001
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 10, 2001