Chronic Remorse

Cover of "Brave New World"

Cover of Brave New World

I was supposed to read Death of a Salesman and review it for you, but I was kind of hating it, so I stopped reading.  Instead, I decided to move on to Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World

I opened the book up before bed and had a go at the foreward, and this is what it said:

“Chronic remorse, as all the moralists are agreed, is a most undesirable sentiment.  If you have behaved badly, repent, make what amends you can and address yourself to the task of hebaving better next time.  On no account brood over your wrong-doing.  Rolling in the muck is not the best way of getting clean.

The thing that caught my attention about this paragraph was that it directly refutes something I said at Bible study last week.  We were talking about the appropriate response to mistakes.  Should we “beat ourselves up”?  Most of the group seemed to be in agreement that it is bad to beat ourselves up.  A few of us, however, were headed in the other direction.  The thing is that when we sin against God, we probably should do some “beating ourselves up”.  We should be disciplining ourselves.  The Bible even says that if your right hand causes you to sin, you ought to cut it off.  Therefore, we need to do some beating ourselves up.  Yet, as with everything, there’s truth to both sides.  There are unhealthy ways to discipline ourselves.  I just personally think that America leans in the opposite direction.  I think we confort ourselves and inflate our senses of self.  Also, I’d rather discipline myself too harshly than live as a “lump of vanity” (yup – I stole that last little bit from The Crucible).


One thought on “Chronic Remorse

  1. I couldn’t agree with you more! The danger of course is a sort of spiritual self flagellation and that is wrong! I may beat myself to try and help make up for my sin–like trying to help pay the price paid on calvary–and that is a no no! Jesus Paid it All. Because He paid it all, I become more aware of my own depravity, my dark heart, my sin that separates me from Him, and that should hurt my heart! When I sin, I should say, “shame on me Dave! I know better than this! I have learned better! Father forgive me. Father have mercy on me. Father rescue me from my sin and shame”…and then “go and sin no more”. He said to the woman, “woman, where are your accusers, neither do I accuse you, now go and sin no more.”

    So, I do not flagellate myself, but I’d still better be sorrowful, repentant, and wanting to change my behavior…if my heart is in the right place in recognizing my sin, then maybe I wouldn’t have to beat myself up as much.

    For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Hebrews 12:11

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