Pride and the Assurance of Salvation

In his book, Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis said, “There is one vice of which no man in the world is free... The vice I am talking of is Pride.”

This is obvious when Donald Trump, for example, speaks as if he would accomplish more as the U.S. President than all others who've held that office combined.  Like him or not, it’s hard to deny the man is quite pompous. Or Richard Sherman; he’s another easy one to pick on.  Who could ever forget his famous rant after the 2014 NFC Championship game?


These are obvious examples.  But what about the rest of us that don’t voice that same bravado?  Do all of us struggle with pride as Lewis maintained? In particular, what about the timid, self-conscious, and the introverted?  What about the anxious and the fretful?  What about the lonely and the depressed?


It would be foolish to say that every human sin is identical to pride. But it would be equally as foolish to say that any particular person is exempt from being proud.  It is the nature of sinfulness to be self-focused, and that self-absorption can manifest itself in self-promotion or self-pity.  It can look like Gaston or Eeyore.


If you chronically struggle with the assurance of your salvation, you may consider that pride is the real root of your struggle.  The downtrodden feelings may seem like the exact opposite of those feelings that accompany arrogant boasting, and they are as far as feelings are concerned. 


But we are talking about the root of the problem.  If your faith is anchored in Christ alone, and you are continue to struggle with the assurance of your salvation, you might consider asking yourself this question: “Why do I think I’m a better sinner than Jesus is a Savior?”


That’s looking at the problem from a different angle, but it may just be a very helpful angle.  If you’ve called on the name of the Lord, sought his mercy and forgiveness, and cast yourself solely on his grace for the hope of eternal life, and you still think your sins are so bad that Jesus just can’t or won’t forgive you, then you are saying that you think you’ve out-sinned the grace of God.  You think he can’t forgive you because he’s not powerful enough or you think he wont’ forgive you because he’s not loving enough.


In either case, you think that you are in the elite category of those who have mastered sinning to a greater degree than Jesus has defeated sin.  That’s pride.


So talk to yourself about your thoughts and struggles, and ask yourself the question: “Why do I think I’m a better sinner than Jesus is a Savior?”  When you think of it that way, you quickly realize that it would be impossible for where sin abounds, grace abounds much more.


Soli Deo Gloria!