Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Hiden Fingerprints

The section on attribution was of particular interest to me. After reading about the self-serving bias the term seemed to linger in my mind as I went about my business with friends throughout the evening and I began to notice that people seem always to think or at least profess themselves to be a great deal more humble than they are. This is not necessarily a problem of pride in most cases. But out of what I would expect must be fulfillment of the expectation of society (which is to speak more lowly of yourself than you might otherwise) we nearly never say anything too positive about ourselves. However, as I remember it, of all the conversations I’ve had with fellow students about having failed classes or tests- and there have been many- I can hardly recall one in which the person confessed the blame for it to be their own. I myself almost without exception avoid attributing my failures on my own irresponsibility or inadequacy. It seems to me that in many senses this shows a much healthier self-image than is usually expressed.

It is an interesting thing to me that if we all seem to have this built-in sense of self-worth we feel the need to counter-act it. It is understandable that an over-developed version of this would be seen as a threat because every form of evil seems ultimately to stem back to selfishness (for what truly ungodly act was ever motivated by anything but self-gratification?) which is the inevitable byproduct of an overgrown self-esteem. In fact, you might call selfishness self-adoration in its full grown form. So this, we may understand is worth preventing. But we know that the opposite, self-distain, when full grown is only pride as well because you are still preoccupied with yourself just in a negative light. This can be equally as destructive but in entirely different ways.

So where is the balance? Lord knows we’re nowhere near understanding that. But we can be sure that He also is the only one who can set our hearts right. On that, at least, we can rely. But , in the meantime, I suppose that if we are of such great value to Him, it is not so unbelievable that he should place in our hearts some sort of mechanism which tells us we are worth more than what a few failures may say about us- for whether we know God’s love or not, we bear his finger prints.

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