There’s this conundrum. I can never work it out.
Suppose Person A was a selfish, scheming, manipulative, subtly aggressive sinful monster, living among balanced, reasonable, kind but honest people. Suppose people in A’s social group let A know how selfish and inappropriate A’s behavior had become, and Person A saw the light and began to reform, curbing selfishness and nurturing humility, behaving in ways more acceptable within the community so everyone was happier and A began to fit in and life got more harmonious and God was pleased. That would be good, right?
But then suppose a few miles along the road there was a different social group, full of selfish, scheming, manipulative, subtly aggressive sinful people, and the only balanced, reasonable, kind but honest individual among them was Person B. Suppose B’s social group got on B’s case incessantly, outraged if B ever spoke up in self-defence, expecting B to comply and acquiesce all the time, calling B selfish, scheming, manipulative, aggressive and sinful every time B tried to remonstrate or reach out for something good. Suppose the only way B could achieve harmony was by giving in all the time and making the others happy and being pushed around. That would be bad, right?
But what I don’t understand is how would you actually know if you were Person A or Person B? How could you possibly tell if you were in actual fact selfish, scheming, manipulative, aggressive and sinful, and had needed others to bring it to your attention – or if you were in fact balanced, reasonable, kind but honest, but been sucked into a guilt trip by the selfish, scheming, manipulative, aggressive and sinful people in your social group?
How could you arrive at an accurate evaluation?