Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Keeping the Absent Present

Haleem ul Hassan August 18, 2013 at 6:58 am
This is one of the best damn articles I have ever read. Kudos to you my man for writing it with such clarity! May we all learn from it!
Well, Haleem ul Hassan has a point.

The Art of Manliness has published a four-part series on How to Be Virtuous and Avoid Sin, the most interesting of which is Part II (Haleem's comment is from that post).

The series talks about the psychology of cheating and virtue, explaining some very common human inclinations and giving us tips on how to use our simple human nature to improve our behavior.

For example, if you're tempted to do something sinful, try to imagine being discovered doing it.  I find it very easy to curse and swear and use vulgarities, and once when setting up a sound system in a church before a performance, I was having a "heck" of  a time.  I had a headset microphone on, and even though I was getting madder and madder (and even though I wanted to say worse things than "heck"), I knew that if I said any of my favorites, my cussing would fill the sanctuary like the voice of God.  This was a very helpful deterrent.  For a long time after that, I simply pretended that I had a headset mike on at all times.

But one of the easiest ways to distance ourselves from the wrongness of our behavior is the internet.  How easy the artificiality of contact lets us treat others online the way we never would in person.  Many a marriage is badly bruised by how such distancing facilitates flirting, for example.  Would you say to a woman at a bar what you're saying to her in a chat room, if your wife were out with you?  Yet imagining such a scenario really helps bring to mind the Presence that seems Absent - it's a kind of prayer.

I suppose, then, the next time the Black Sheep Dog and I have a little shindig in my basement with hookers and drugs, I really need to picture the pain this will cause everyone involved when word gets out and I have to issue all those indignant denials.  It's worth a shot!

1 comment:

Michael said...

1) It helps me if I think of Hell.

2) Also, I like to reason truth by thinking about the excess of the particular sin I'm committing.

You could sleep with every attractive woman in the world, and you would never, ever, ever, ever find peace doing so... (when you think about it, just look at Tiger Woods)

so such would equally be true of staring at say one scantily clad women on the street.

At which point I stop (more often than not).

3) Helps to think of how much better Heaven will be.

4) It helps to think of Christ wanting us to bear the cross... the temptation to sin is a cross we can bear... this life is fininite so just friggin bear it for a bit!