In Our Good Behavior We’re Liable to the Baddest Sins

Here is an excerpt from Eugene Peterson’s very good book Under The Unpredictable Plant (page 31).

“Here it is again, one of the oldest truths in spirituality, with special variation ins pastoral ministry: it is in our virtuous behavior that we are liable to the gravest sins. it is while we are being good that we have the chance of being really bad. It is in this context of being responsible, being obedient, that we most easily substitute our will for God’s will, because it is so easy to suppose they are identical….When we are being obedient and successful pastors we are in far more danger than when we are being disobedient runaway pastors. To give us proper warning, the story of Jonah shows Jonah obedient far more unattractive than Jonah disobedient: in his disobedience he at least had compassion on the sailors of the ship; in his obedience he has only contempt for the citizens of Nineveh.”

While Peterson is talking to pastors, how might this apply to us? Here is one way…it is when things are going well, when we are successful, that we have the highest chance of developing hubris–pride –arrogance. We more easily become enamored with ourselves and our own ventures. I am not going to give anymore away, but I’ll let you think about it.

Your insights are welcome!

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