Boastful Believers?

Pride is a sin in world religions, to varying degrees.


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Pride is often considered the foremost vice in Christianity, since it is contrary to love of God. As Christian thinker and writer C.S. Lewis, "According to Christian teachers, the essential vice, the utmost evil, is Pride. Unchastity, anger, greed, drunkenness, and all that, are mere fleabites in comparison: it was through Pride that the devil became the devil: Pride leads to every other vice: it is the complete anti-God state of mind."

Christianity teaches that there are many different manifestations of pride. They include "boasting of men (1 Corinthians 3:21)," doing something "from selfishness or conceit (Philippians 2:3)," and refusing to "be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ (Ephesians 5:21)."

Like Islam, Chrisitanity views pride as a hatred of God that was the reason for the fall of the devil. The Catholic Catechism teaches, "Hatred of God comes from pride. It is contrary to love of God, whose goodness it denies, and whom it presumes to curse as the one who forbids sins and inflicts punishments."

Orthodox Christianity also warns against pride. "A festival for the spiritual man," Saint Ephraim the Syrian writes, "is the observance of the divine commandments, and his consolation abstinence from evil. His pride is the fear of God, his real joy the day when the Heavenly King calls him to inherit His eternal riches." This passage from the Desert Fathers teaches that a life of humility before God should be enough for man.

The Mormon Doctrine & Covenant similarly states, "Continue in the spirit of meekness, and beware of pride."


Hinduism teaches that one must renounce the ego in order to understand the Self and reach ultimate reality. Pride inhibts renunciation. One can only come to a state of true knowledge by letting go of pride and one's "ego-sense." As the Bhagavad Gita states,"Those who know truly are free from pride and deceit (13:7)."

One who does not focus on oneself sheds all pride and is able to understand ultimate reality. Krishna says later in the Bhagavad Gita, "Living beyond the reach of




and of pleasure and pain, patient, contented, self-controlled, firm in faith, with his heart and all his mind given to me-with such a one I am in love."

But in Hinduism, pride is not always bad. The Tirukkural explains: "Not all pride is bad: "Just as wise men know the goodness of non-coveting, so Fortune herself knows their goodness and draws near. There is a desire for another's possessions which is thoughtlessly destructive. There is a pride which, refusing to covet, is mindfully triumphant (Tirukkural 18:179-180)." If one has enough pride in oneself, one won't covet the possessions of someone else.

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