This winter, like the rest, brings reports of ice fishermen stranded out on their lakes and of mountain climbers buried under unexpected onslaughts of snow. Most of these perilous adventures have happy endings, almost always due to the bravery and energy of others coming to their rescue, usually at considerable risk to themselves. We admire and applaud these heroes as we should do. But at the same time, there is a corresponding desire, usually unexpressed, to chide or even berate the fishermen and mountain climbers who, for the satisfaction of their own desires, necessitated heroism on the part of others.

This could be the model for the most serious of sins, those that flow from spiritual pride. The sportsmen knowingly put themselves in situations from which they might need rescue. The spiritually proud do the same, although their confidence rests on God saving them from the evil consequences of their own choices.

And the source of their confidence? Their sense of self-worth.

That is spiritual pride.

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