The Golden Saying Of Epictetus, V

Rufus used to say, If you have leisure to praise me, what I say is naught. In truth he spoke in such wise, that each of us who sat there, thought that some one had accused him to Rufus:—so surely did he lay his finger on the very deeds we did: so surely display the faults of each before his very eyes. -Epictetus, speaking of C. Musonius Rufus, a stoic philosopher.

Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you;
reprove a wise man, and he will love you.
Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser;
teach a righteous man and he will increase in learning.
Prov. 9:8-9

The way of a fool is right in his own eyes,
but a wise man listens to advice.
Prov. 12:15

This specific golden saying is brief in it's message, but the proverbs that relate are very telling. The proverb that I would like to focus on is the latter.

The foolish man does not typically see himself as foolish. I say the word "typically" since there are exceptions where a Christian would be acting foolish, but is aware of it. The only reason they are doing this is to serve themselves. But aside from that, a fool sees everything he does as right. What we find ourselves doing is treating a habit of ours as normal and neutral. We do not give a second thought to whether or not the action is foolish or a sin. We are stuck in ruts, and it would be healthy to examine our actions. I have no examples to support this, sadly, but I know it happens.

Be not righteous overmuch, and do not make yourself overwise; why should you destroy yourself?
Eccl. 7:16

This passage his to help those who have become too introspective of all their actions. They consequently entangle themselves in over thinking their actions. An example might be: 1. Pride is sin. 2. Thanking people for their good deed can encourage pride. 3. I should not thank people for their good deeds, because I do not want to be a stumbling block for them. Although this is an attempt to be wise, the person is very thick headed, because the bible directly tells us that we honor each other. Though, one should always be mindful of other peoples advice, and not believe that everything they do is not an offense.


RespectMyAuthorita said...

When you eat cereal, you pour the milk in. Milk is poured in because it tastes good and moistens the ceareal. Now there are exceptions, some people eat cereal without milk, but i think they know they are doing this. Sometimes we get stuck in ruts of not pouring enough milk in the cereal or possibly using whole milk instead of 2%, but it would be healthy to examine the fat content of the milk we use as well as the portion. Sadly I have no examples of appropriate portioning for various cereals.

Evan Gunn said...

gee, if I had not admitted to not having any examples Jason, would you have not said anything. I am stuck in a rut of admittance! Lord deliver me!