Posts Tagged ‘the Accuser’

The Sin of Pride and Satan

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

Saints Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael

Rev 12: 7-12ab; Jn 1: 47-51

Dc. Larry Brockman


The accuser of our brothers was cast out!  Have you ever really thought about that- about the accuser being the Devil, and being cast out?  And according to this account, it was because of the accusations that he was cast out.  Now to be sure, all of us humans can be accused of sin.  And Satan, a creature of God at the beginning, was highly regarded until this incident, when the accuser of man was cast out along with his minions of angels.  Why?


Imagine for a moment that you are an angel created as a much more sophisticated being than mankind.  Then God creates these human creatures so much below you in intelligence and understanding and power and capability.  Not only that, they are limited in their existence to a single planet in a primitive physical world in a small galaxy in a huge universe.  And yet, even after their fall from the Garden of Eden, God plans to grant them access to heaven- the same as you.  So Satan, endowed with such superior powers, maybe only second to God before his fall, sees all man’s shortcomings, reports them to God and accuses them of these shortcomings.  You are Satan the great accuser.  Now the name Satan means adversary.  So Satan not only accuses, but becomes our adversary.   


And that is what was wrong with Satan.  Satan was proud- he committed the sin of pride.  His pride made him an adversary of God’s creation rather than an honest reporter.  That’s why Satan was cast out of heaven.  Simply put, Satan had a holier than thou attitude; he resented the imperfections of others; and it led him to a consuming attitude of superiority mixed with despise for mankind.  But God in His goodness had other “sheep” in his flock besides angels; sheep that were not as capable as angels.  And God chose to love these other, less capable creatures too.  It was, and is, after all, God’s business who He loves.   


The question for us is this.  Does Satan’s sin sound familiar?  Have you ever felt the way Satan feels about others.  Surely, there are people out there less capable, less fortunate, and less devoted to God than you; but we cannot have Satan’s attitude about such people- an attitude of self-righteousness and despise for others.  Rather, we need to put on Christ’s attitude- an attitude of acceptance of His fellow man no matter their station in life, color, intelligence, or looks; and for that matter, no matter their pattern of behavior.  Jesus, who is God, did not choose to be self-righteous and to despise mankind, but rather, to love us.  Certainly, we do not copy or support behavior that our conscience tells us is wrong.  When Jesus encountered sinners, he certainly did not support their sinful behavior, but He did not condemn them either.  Rather, he converted their hearts to repent and to follow His pattern of behavior.   


The Gospel story is all about Jesus choosing an ordinary man, Nathanael, from amongst a host of possible people.  Nathanael was chosen because Jesus saw his heart, not his appearance.  Jesus saw his heart, not his talents.  And Jesus saw his heart, not his weaknesses.  That’s why He said of Nathanael- “There is no duplicity in him.”