What the Rav said:
The Ba’al Shem Tov says that pride is the worst thing in the world.
Tzadikim say that they are more afraid of mitzvot than they are of aveirot (sins).
A person commits a sin and he’s completely broken. He’s like a vessel that’s smashed into smithereens.
We’re not talking about fools who go around sinning deliberately. Rather, people who just don’t manage to control themselves, to overcome their yetzer hara. Those people are completely broken.
But, a person who thinks he’s a Tzadik – there’s no greater rasha (wicked person) than that! There’s no greater avodah zarah (idol worship) than that!
Rabbenu taught us that we’re living in ‘Olam Hafuch’, an upside down world.
Even mitzvahs can be aveirahs, and aveirahs can be mitzvahs.
A person who does mitzvot out of pride, is a big rasha.
A person who sins, and is broken hearted as a result, is a big Tzadik.
To quote a really bad pop song by Bananarama (we all have our history, right…): “It ain’t what you do, it’s the way that you do it!”
Now that’s food for thought…