“What Real Contrition Looks Like” Comments, Page 1

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4 Comments (One Discussion Thread) on “What Real Contrition Looks Like”

    1. Great question, Stuart. I might offer some humble opinions on this. Those with an inflated sense of personal worth and power are likely to do almost anything that ultimately could lead to bad consequence, but because their history of “winning” is a primary contributor to their ego inflation, they have every reason to believe they can and should get away with things. Also, for some, there are insufficient “competing” reasons (i.e. internal inhibitors) such as integrity of image, faithfulness to vows, commitment to principle, etc., to temper their reckless ambition and goal-directed hedonism.

      For awhile, an apathetic society played an “enabling” role as did well-meaning mental health professionals who almost universally trashed the value of shame. Perhaps that’s one of the reasons we have so many with no sense of it anymore. Of course, the mental health community is comfortable with the notion of guilt, just not shame. But in my many years of working with the most seriously disturbed characters, TO A PERSON, real change in their lives came not when they felt bad about things they’d done (many of them felt bad every time they did them – over and over again) but when they could no longer live with the person they’d allowed themselves to become.

  1. Real contrition isn’t just “a change of heart that results in a change of action.”.

    It goes further: if the one offended continues to cherish their offense – as in ” I will never forgive you. I will always hate you. I will seek your life untill one, the other, or both of us are dead” – then ***real*** contrition will say, ” you are right…” and walk away.

    (and live with the sorrow forever…)

  2. I found this phrase particularly helpful “TO A PERSON, real change in their lives came not when they felt bad about things they’d done (many of them felt bad every time they did them – over and over again) but when they could no longer live with the person they’d allowed themselves to become.”
    Thanks for phrasing that moment this way. Much better than “rock bottom”, for instance.

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