Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni was a sculptor and artist born in 1475 in Italy. While many know of him, his works have lasted hundreds of years and were commissioned by many very wealthy individuals in medieval Italy. One of his most famous works on display at L’Accademia in Florence is the David. It stands at 17 ft tall and is a marvel at the study of human anatomy and replication of that anatomy. This creation was done out of love and admiration, which Michaelangelo had toward design, biblical history, and the male form.
Now imagine Michaelangelo is sitting there sculpting this masterpiece, and the masterpiece turns around and says, “I don’t want you to finish me.” Michelangelo put so much work and effort into his creation, and he is astonished, “Why not?! I put so much love into you to create you, yet you don’t want to be finished.” The statue replies, “I don’t want you to put me where you want to put me; I don’t want you to finish me; I can find my way.” Michelangelo, consenting to the request, stops his work. He puts away his tools and tells him, “If you ever want to be finished, you know where to find me. I have a part of me in you.” He slowly walks away. Unfortunately, this time around, for this small anecdote, he never finished The David, and it sits in its spot forever gathering dust.
This obvious anecdote here is very simple; God made man in His image. He put work into man that He didn’t with all other creation. He took one whole day to create man. He put in effort to create not only a work of art, like the other plants and animals, but a physical and spiritual masterpiece; however, He also wanted to walk and talk with His creation. He wanted to enjoy their presence and get to know them. He wanted to show them, love.
However, man, in his fallible wisdom, disregarded God in the only test afforded to man. Man decided that the test was not to their liking, and they should be entitled to everything that God had shown him in His creation. For the first time, man decided he knew better than God.
Let’s look at this in-depth for a second and split apart two things. One, what was the actual sin man committed in the garden of Eden? Was it really disobedience? The problem with direct disobedience is that it requires 2-3 sins to commit. First, you make a decision that you know better than the superior that gave you an order. A child may directly disobey the parent because they think they know better. The second sin could be a sin of pride. This is the sin that Eve primarily commited. She ate the fruit after the snake told her that the fruit would make her like God. For reference, so did Lucifer.
Second, we’re going to see where love failed. God is perfect in all wisdom; He knew this would happen, so why create in the first place? Well, first, let’s take the dog example we had earlier. Some people rescue hazardous dogs known to bite or have been reported to bite someone. Why would they rescue these animals that were most likely abused? Because they loved them, they wanted a relationship with them; they wanted to train them to make someone happy.
I can’t answer exactly why God created us knowing what would happen, but I can say God created us for His use and for Him to have a relationship with us. SO, man defied true love, what exactly led to that defiance? It’s the same sin that leads from all other sins. C.S. Lewis tells us very particularly
“The other, and less bad, vices come from the devil working on us through our animal nature. But this does not come through our animal nature at all. It comes direct from Hell.”C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
Pride didn’t exist until Lucifer created it in Heaven. God isn’t proud; His angels shouldn’t have been proud. Ironically, Lucifer got what he wanted initially. He wanted to create something like God. He did do just that, and He started the one thing that is implanted into the human race. Pride.
This series isn’t over, not by a long shot. There are three more posts planned out, so I’m not going to get to really where this leads to just yet. But as you can see, we’ve gotten to the bottom of it.
Why can’t man just be good?
Why can’t we just listen to a good God?
Why can’t we…
The list goes on and on; every sin comes from pride at the end of the day. Lust comes from the pride in your physical attractiveness and putting yourself first. Gluttony comes from pride in making sure you are the first, most and best well fed. This list goes on and on, we have different names for all sin, but at the end of the day, that sin is pride. Humans are unique in that we only think about ourselves, our futures, and most of the time we only put ourselves first.
I will end with this because of pride. Our Savior told us something unique that is often quoted but never really understood.
“No one has greater love than this: to lay down his life for his friends”John 15:13, CSB
True love, decisional love, can not house pride. Why? Because pride only has room at the table for one, and that is yourself. If a human gives up talent, treasure, time or life for anyone that is love. But especially dying for one’s friends, is an act of love because if there was pride, he would want to live.
As for concluding this post, the defiance of man against God’s love wasn’t due to a piece of fruit, nor was it due to the devil. According to our own will, the divine intelligence placed in us produces a perverted sense of self-preservation that shows itself as pride. This pride makes sin and blocks us from loving our God. Therefore, love is a choice because it requires pride to be done away with.