By: Jessica Porter
To say that confronting undiscovered sin in my life isn't one of my favorite things would be an understatement. It's shameful, it's messy and it reminds me of just how imperfect I truly am. But with that said, being slammed in the face with these imperfections, these flaws, I am incredibly thankful. I am thankful because as long as you deny you have a problem you will continually deny that you need a solution. And now that I can see my sin, my "problem", clearer than ever, I can now begin to see a way out.
So how did this confrontation of sin come about you may wonder. Well, I am in the process of reading "Mere Christianity" by C.S. Lewis with my Bible study group and let me tell you, Mr. Lewis doesn't dance around the subject of sin. He tells it like it is, what's right and what's wrong, which is hard to hear sometimes but very necessary for spiritual growth. After chapters about morality and forgiveness I came to the chapter titled "The Great Sin." I was quite intrigued. What could it be? Murder? Lying? Sexual immorality? Nope. According to Lewis the "Great Sin" is one that "no man in the world is free; which every one in the world loathes when he sees it in someone else; and of which hardly any people…ever imagine that they are guilty themselves." The sin he is talking about is Pride.
We all suffer from Pride, or Self-Conceit, and it is this sin that leads to all other sins. Lewis says that Pride is all about power, that "each person's pride is in competition with every one else's pride" and "pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man."
Now, generally I never thought of myself as a prideful person (but then again, who does?) but while reading this I couldn't help but think about every encounter I had earlier in the week and my motivations behind them. In my interactions with others how I would constantly try to bring the conversation back to myself or feel an internal cringe when someone else mentioned their current successes. This cringe I shrugged off as a reaction of annoyance at the other persons boasting when in reality it was jealousy.
Then, as if I wasn't embarrassed enough at my prideful day-to-day habits, my mind began wandered to my many social media accounts. Where on Facebook I post statuses about all the cool things happening in my life, and on Instagram I post pictures with unnecessary hashtags to get more likes. Where are my motivations coming from? Well, to get more likes, comments and notifications to feed my self-gratification. Social media is a breeding ground for self-promotion and as a result, my pride.
Now, don't get me wrong, I am not condemning all forms of social media. If I did, as a social media intern, I would be the biggest hypocrite ever. I think social media is great! It helps you stay in contact with distant friends and family, share thoughts and ideas, and connects you to people you may have never encountered otherwise. All I'm saying is it may be time for you to check your motivations. To ask yourself: is my satisfaction coming from sharing a picture with my friends or am I only satisfied when I've received sufficient likes and comments. For me, the test will be asking myself this question: "If no one 'liked' or commented on this status, tweet, or photo, would I still post it?" If my satisfaction comes from adding to my social media "journal" to look back on in the years to come or sharing something of imprtance, then by all means, post away!
Now that I've discovered the "Great Sin" in my life, my road to happiness and humility can begin. And as my eyes are beginning to shift away from myself and back to Jesus, it's like a weight is being lifted off my shoulders. I'm not thinking about my flaws, my mistakes or shortcomings, I'm not thinking about myself at all. With this has come such a new found freedom, and why wouldn't it? After all, "a proud man is always looking down on things and people: and, of course, as long as you are looking down, you cannot see something that is above you."