Ash Wednesday - Combating Pride and Cultivating Humility this Lent

No matter how it manifests itself, pride is the most isolating of all sins. It distances us from God and a right view of him. It distances us from others because at its core, pride is by nature competitive. It wells up in us as that deep, primal refusal to concede or defer anything to anyone. It leads me to look at my neighbor and see him as a competitor. Ultimately it is enmity. It makes me suspect my neighbor, distrust him, and compels me to critique him with a measure I would never use for myself. In the end, I condemn him in a way that makes me appear or at least feel superior to him. The ultimate end of pride is loneliness and isolation because it kills community and destroys intimacy.