One of the absolute best things you can do for another person is to tell them what’s wrong with them. People positively love it when they’re told—especially by someone they hardly know—what, who, and how they should be. And the greater the scope of things you criticize in another, the deeper that person will thrill to your input and criticism.
If you want to make someone really happy, for instance, find profound fault with their relationship to God! That’s a surefire friend-winner, every time. Because if a person is wrong about God, what’s left for them to be right about? Nothing! Why waste your time trying to win someone’s affection by criticizing things like their clothes or diet, when you can go for the gold? Criticize their understanding of God! That’s how you’ll make a ready friend for life.
As fantastic as it is, the reason people so enjoy being informed that their relationship with God (and so just everything else!) is all wrong isn’t just because it gives them a chance to correctly reject everything about themselves. It goes even deeper than that. It shows them how much you care about them. The strongest message of love you can send another, after all, is that they’re doomed to spend eternity having the living flesh seared off their bones if they don’t become just like you. That’s why no one has more friends than the person who won’t rest until as many possible non-Christians—or wrong sort of Christians—have heard from them personally about what deluded, pitiful, morally bereft sinners they are.
When you take the time to let someone know how absurdly mistaken they are about everything from the nature of morality, to the purpose of man, to what happens after we die, what you’re certain to discover right away is how readily they grasp that you do, in fact, understand such things in a much deeper way than they. That’s why they’re sure to respond so positively to your critique of their character, belief system, and concept of God. When you show other people how positive you are that you’re right, they just can’t wait to start thinking like you. That’s the wonder of passion. It’s downright contagious!
There are those who believe that God is working in the life of every person, cultivating, in his own way and time, a relationship with them that he knows is perfect for them and him. Don’t you believe it! God is too busy worrying about things like weather and keeping the planets aligned to tend to the soul of every living human. He’s God, not … super God. He depends upon those who are closest to him to do those things that he just doesn’t have the time or energy to do himself. And one of those things is teaching others how wrong they are about him. And people—no matter how dense they might be about everything else in life—understand that. When you tell someone what they should believe about God, and why they’re wrong for believing whatever immature inanity about God they do, they understand that you’re not just speaking about God, but for God. And that’s why they’re guaranteed to love your message! Sure, everyone yearns to hear directly from God. But few are awarded that privilege! The rest are willing and ready to hear directly from the very next best thing to God: you.
From God; to you; to the confused, deluded, and sin-filled; back up to God again.
That’s the glorious circle of life!
Break it at your peril.
John also blogs at JohnShore.com.
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