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Looking Down

After I had minor eye surgery, the nurse told me, “Don’t look down for the next 2 weeks. No cooking or cleaning.” The last part of those instructions was a little easier to take than the first part! The incisions needed to heal, and she didn’t want me to put any unnecessary pressure on them by looking down.

C. S. Lewis wrote about another kind of looking down that we may have a problem with: “In God you come up against something which is in every respect immeasurably superior to yourself. . . . As long as you are proud you cannot know God. 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” (Mere Christianity).

Jesus told a parable about a Pharisee who felt superior to others. In a prideful prayer, he thanked God that he was not like other men (Luke 18:11). He looked down on extortioners, the unjust, adulterers, and the tax collector who was also praying in the temple. By contrast, the tax collector knew he was a sinner before God and asked for His mercy (v.13).

Pride can be an issue for all of us. May we not look down on others but instead see the God who is far above us all.

When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of Glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride. —Watts
Spiritual pride is the most arrogant of all kinds of pride.