Saturday, March 13, 2010

Self-Analysis Tool: Do I Vaunt Myself; Am I Puffed Up?

From my post last week about the attitude behind vaunting and being puffed up:

It's not necessarily that "they are worse than I am" - but rather that "I am better than they are". That is an important distinction, subtle though it be.

It is critical - absolutely important - to understand how the statment that "charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up" applies within one's own self in order to become more charitable in this regard. This is not easy, and it is not natural. This is true of almost everyone, but it is most difficult for those who are convinced of their own, personal faith perspective - both those who struggle with their faith community and those who are solidly established within it.

BOTH of these groups of people are characterized generally by a feeling of superiority when it comes to their understanding of Truth - and spirituality - and sociality - and leadership - and all other things religious (including Mormon). In practical terms, when we view ourselves as understanding the Gospel better than "those other members" - at that moment we are being "puffed up" - and, in public groups (online or at church), that often leads to "vaunting itself" above others.

Bragging and boasting don't have to be blatant and obvious. They can be subtle and encrypted - and I see it naturally both in those who are in the throes of bitterness and those in the entrenchment of an accepted mainstream.

If anyone wants an eye-opening experience, think about this distinction and definition as you go back and re-read your own comments here and in any online discussion groups where you have participated and/or continue to participate. (If you don't participate in group discussions online, think seriously about how you contribute to group discussions of other kinds - in any setting, but espeically at church.) See how many of your comments have either a subtle or obvious element of "vauntiness" or puffiness. Most of us have a long way to go in that regard, and it's hard to see how far unless you are looking consciously for it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Will do Ray.I'm in the grip of a pretty nasty attack of pride at the moment,and I'm going to have to be a whole lot cleverer by tomorrow to get through tomorrow well...