I was looking over a book I have called the Seven Capital Sins put out by Tan Publishers. I came across the part about pride. When does pride become a mortal sin? After reading this it seems that I would be commiting some sort of sin of pride countless times a day. Even after applying the three conditions of mortal sin I still do not know if it would be mortal or not! Can somebody please help me to understand this a little better so I can know for sure? Thanks alot!
Pride has also been a difficult one for me to understand, b/c i do take pride in my work. But the way I understand it is like this:
Pride which is defined as an inordinate seeking after one’s own honor and excellence. Excessive ambition, over-relience on one’s own spiritual strength, vanity and boastfullness as "keeping up with the Joneses, social climbing, be the first one to own one."
Having excessive ambition and strengh to help others in need is a horse of a different color…if you know what I mean.
I like this explanation. I also think the main issue with pride is that it gives a person reliance on self rather than God. To support what you believe, is not necessarily the biblical definition of pride, but is what pride seems to mean in common parlance and hence, the question of “how pride a sin”.
When pride is spoken of as a sin in the Bible and in the works of the doctors, it usually refers to a characteristic which creates spiritual blindness in a person. People are less able to learn and develop spiritually because they believe they have all the answers already.
Much is also written in the Bible and by the doctros of the church about intention and its role in defining sin, which can only be done by God because God alone knows the ture intent of the heart (not ot mention obstacles that a particular person might suffer from to prevetn them from seeing truth and consequences that the average person perceives; such as being scarred by traumatic treatment in the past; chemical depndencies or other addictions; psychological/mental illnesses; the impact of upbringing in a certain environment).
Just as sin is judged by God based on intetions, so are righteous works. And if works are motivated by pride (let me show every one how great a Christian I am) or tainted by pride afterwards (aren’t I such a great person because I did all this) then the works performed have less merit in God’s eyes. In order for works to be optimally acceptable to God, the actions must be motivated by love of God, ot love of reward or fear of punishment and pride prevents this.