Humility is important, Living with other believers

When you always think the worst of others, it says a lot about you.

Just a thought I have been contemplating in the wake of the glaring misconception that people sin only because they are getting some kind of good feeling out of it, or some kind of payoff. We forget that we too were once slaves of sin.

The second error is like unto the first, and it’s this: That there are some sins for which the gospel is not possible to clean their residue. I actually thought of the moment when Neo says in that gosh-awful Matrix movie: “There is no spoon”. I hear it slightly differently, however. Namely, like this: “There is no gospel.” That’s basically what I hear a lot of professed Christians saying, about everyone but themselves of course.

Something powerful happens when you come to grips with your own screwedupedness. You have a newfound compassion and mercy for people making all kinds of crazy decisions under the mistaken notion that these choices will somehow earn for them the things they most desire.  I was reminded too of this quote which has stayed with me from the time I first heard it several years ago. It’s one that anyone with a shred of humility can at least see a bit of truth in.

No man chooses evil because it is evil; he only mistakes it for happiness, the good he seeks. - Mary Wollstonecraft

*This is not to say that there are no evil people. It’s just to say that there are more slaves and fools than truly evil people. “There but for the grace of God…” and all that good stuff.

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6 thoughts on “When you always think the worst of others, it says a lot about you.”

  1. When I cognate upon the subject of truth and it’s painful impact upon our wounded nature, I conclude that most people choose sin (lies) for reasons that have less to do with gaining more happiness and more to do with not becoming seemingly more wounded.

    It’s why I believe most people won’t accept the Catholic faith, because it is deeply painful for them to accept the they have been lied to their entire lives, especially by those they hold particularly dear.

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  2. @Roman Lance

    It seems to me that most people are driven by fear on some level, which I think is what you are describing. Avoidance and fear are pretty powerful but ultimately huge impediments. And pride of course. It is hard to have much compassion for people who choose error willingly over truth after a point. Best to walk away and leave them to it, shake the dust of one’s feet, as it were.

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  3. I agree with you that fear, avoidance, and pride are very strong driving forces. Whatever forces we choose to zero in on, in the end we’re still back to the same place: we go to great lengths to find a comfortable place in which to settle. In other words, the thing that we presume will make us happy.

    The drive for comfort is its own vice of course, but it’s certainly not the same as someone who chooses evil precisely because it’s evil, or who tramples over and abuses others -even to the point of torture or oppression- because it gets them the status, comfort, and happiness they desire.

    It is hard to have much compassion for people who choose error willingly over truth after a point. Best to walk away and leave them to it, shake the dust of one’s feet, as it were.

    I think this is a good point when it’s pretty obvious that such people are deliberately denying the glaringly obvious truth, or even just shutting their ears to part of the truth, because to do so assuages some part of themselves that they don’t want to deal with.

    I still think that most people (and I include myself in certain areas of my own life and mind) are probably just slaves or foolish.

    See Plato’s “Allegaory of the Cave” for a good snapshot of how and why so many get to be that way, 😉

    I have been thinking about that story a lot of late, and I think to myself, “Plato would be astonished at this world, where the full manifestation of his imagery is clearly on display.”

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  4. Certainly a lot of it is foolishness – one could argue that choosing evil for any reason is foolish, and the road to hell is paved with good intentions. There’s always the question of culpability, and I think that’s what you’re getting at, and that is really enough to stay our judgment about who is and isn’t “saved” or hell-bound, including ourselves.

    With so much indoctrination in lies and suppression of the truth, it’s a wonder if anyone finds it. Moreover, given the impossibility of perfection, people deserve a certain amount of compassion. I would like to be able to sit and suffer along with everyone, but I’m only one person and don’t have the energy for that, and so I try to discern who is genuinely seeking truth and who isn’t. None of us have “arrived” but not all are seeking.

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