The Ladder Step 22

Step 22 - On Vainglory

St. John “The sun shines on all alike, and vainglory beams on all activities. For instance, I am vainglorious when I fast; and when I relax the fast in order to be unnoticed, I am again vainglorious over my prudence. When well-dressed I am quite overcome by vainglory, and when I put on poor clothes I am vainglorious again. When I talk I am defeated, and when I am silent I am again defeated by it. However I throw this prickly-pear, a spike stands upright.”

Vainglory is the first step before pride. This is a not a word in much use today, much like avarice. However, we are awash in it. Obsession with the outward appearance. We are screaming, "Look at me...look at my stuff...look at what I have done."

Signs of Vainglory

1. rejoices in appearance both physical and behavior; how we appear before men.

2. the motive for everything is to please men rather than God

3. Response to praise. “men of high spirit endure offence nobly and willingly. But only the holy and the saintly can pass unscathed through praise.

4. Response to criticism. “not the self-critical who reveals his humility. Rather it is the man who continues to love the person who criticizes him.”

-This is a tough one, because we are encourage in society to stand out and be noticed. The key to our defeat of this sin is our motivation for action. Do we act to be noticed, especially in our spiritual pursuits?

Dangers of Vainglory:

1. Vainglory will often bring dishonor into our life…. "pride goes before a fall” Prov 16:18

2. Vainglory inhibits answers to prayers because an answer would increase our vainglory.

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