Often, the best thing I can do is bring the wisdom of others to light. In this case, it is Tim Keller who quotes C. S. Lewis on the subject of pride.
This excerpt comes from the wonderful little book by Keller, called “The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness.” It was originally a sermon by him, called “Blessed Self-Forgetfulness”. I’ll post some links to the two at the bottom of this entry.
Keller begins: “In his famous chapter on pride in Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis points out that pride is by nature competitive. It is competitiveness that is at the very heart of pride. ‘Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next person. We say that people are proud of being rich, or clever, or good-looking, but they are not. They are proud of being richer, or cleverer, or better-looking than others. If everyone else became equally rich, or clever, or good-looking there would be nothing to be proud about.’
In other words, we are only proud of being more successful, more intelligent or more good-looking than the next person, and when we are in the presence of someone who is more successful, intelligent and good-looking than we are, we lose all pleasure in what we had. That is because we really had no pleasure in it. We were proud of it. As Lewis says, pride is the pleasure of having more than the next person. Pride is the pleasure of being more than the next person.”
(note: if you choose the mp3 option for the sermon, the download is free)