The seven deadly sins are pride, greed, anger, envy, lust, gluttony and sloth. Pride heads the list as it is considered to be the worst of all seven sins. In doing inventories in the 12-step sense these items are usually used as categories to put our defects of character into. These sins are considered deadly as it is suggested that they maim or kill the divine spirit in all humanity. Pride heads the list as it appears to be the deadliest sin or defect of character of them all.
Pride is not something to be toyed with. It can bring down a government, marriage, sicken friendships, tear apart families and friendships to name a few of it’s known results. In Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) we at times hear someone share that they are proud to be sober. Usually, they are new to the program but not always. They do not understand yet that you can be sober but not proud or vice versa. Pride is included as something to face and be rid of as it blocks us off from the sunlight of the Spirit.
In proclaiming that one is proud to be sober, this shows a lack of understanding of the steps and defects of character. People with time in the program are also guilty of being proud to be sober. How can we be proud of not falling on our face drunk and throwing up? How can we be proud of not driving drunk? And how can we be proud of not hurting those we love? We can’t be legitimately proud of any of these things. So, what do we do about this dilemma?
Well, the proper attitude is gratitude and happiness. I can be grateful and happy to be sober. I am grateful for all the gifts such as tolerance, patience, honesty, caring for others, and not repeating my mistakes I made while drinking. I can be very happy that you are sober, and grateful that you remain that way. I am grateful that I have a Higher Power in my life that helps me live a sober and clean life. I am grateful that God saw fit to take me, a poor wretch of a drunken soul and give me the gift of sobriety. Pride just takes it all and puts it back on me. I give all the credit to myself for this transformed life I am living. Not so. My life is the product of taking the 12 steps and applying them in my daily life. Surrender is even a gift from God!
So, you see now that gratitude is a much better place to be than puffed up with pride. I am forever grateful to my Higher Power for giving me the gift of sobriety.