Pride lies at the heart of nearly all of the devisions we find in the Church. We Christians are often too quick to judge those who differ from us and place far to much stock in our own vain opinions. We blatantly ignore the One who binds us together as one body, the creator and savior of the universe, our Lord, who commands us to be humble, and opt, instead, to cast a critical and unrelenting eye on anyone we meet whose theology deviates from our own in only the slightest degree. Quite frankly, we Christians tend to think far more of ourselves, and of our own private interpretations and opinions, than we should. We suffer from a deplorable, and often vehement, lack of humility–I invite you to mediate on the profound words of Thomas A Kempis in the eighth chapter of his master work The Imitation of Christ:
“Do not consider yourself better than others, for you may be worse in God’s sight. Do not be proud of your good works, for often what pleases us displeases God, Whose judgments differ from the judgment of humans. Whatever goodness or virtue is in you, believe that your neighbor has better qualities; in this way you will preserve humility.
It will not hurt you to consider yourself worse than others, even if this is not really so; bu it will hurt greatly if you prefer yourself above another, although that person might be a great sinner. A humble person is a peaceful person; but the hearts of the proud are full of envy and resentment.”