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  #1  
Old Sep 23, '10, 10:08 pm
Bohm Bawerk Bohm Bawerk is offline
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Default Why is scrupulosity a bad thing, and what does God think about it?

Thank you,
Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk
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  #2  
Old Sep 23, '10, 11:32 pm
TheQuestioner TheQuestioner is offline
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Default Re: Why is scrupulosity a bad thing, and what does God think about it?

The reason is two fold.

First, if you are obsessing over every last thing, and failing constantly (as is normal) but taking it way to hard, you'll eventually just up and quit. Happened to Martin Luther. He got so tired of having to confess every little thing in every little detail and every single intrusive thought and doubt (which aren't even sins) that in his reforms he included the stipulation that Christians shouldn't have to confess their sins to a priest but to God. Probably because it was a bother to confess again and again and again. Well, we all know now that protestantism is a heresy.


Second, you are relying on yourself instead of God. You focus more on moral perfection than on coming closer to God (the only true path to moral perfection). God does the work, not you, and so in a way you are showing a lack of trust in His ability to change and save you.
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  #3  
Old Sep 23, '10, 11:58 pm
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baltobetsy baltobetsy is offline
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Default Re: Why is scrupulosity a bad thing, and what does God think about it?

Scrupulosity has more than one meaning. In the meaning to which you seem to be referring, it means to be careful to observe and obey the law, to do one's work with care, to attend to details, etc. All these things are good.

To be scrupulous can also mean to have a serious spiritual illness. The sufferer sees sin where there is none, misidentifies venial sin as mortal, endures intrusive thoughts which may be blasphemous or impure and worries constantly about his culpability for them, frequently doubts the validity of his confessions and makes numerous general confessions to cover his bases... It's a terrible disease, and I'm quite sure God is not in favor of it. The cure is obedience to a single confessor in everything pertaining to sin and conscience.

Betsy
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  #4  
Old Sep 24, '10, 12:20 am
Totterman Totterman is offline
 
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Default Re: Why is scrupulosity a bad thing, and what does God think about it?

Jesus,our Lords peace whit You.I do agree that God possibly don't look at it too happy,I also understand You,and to some part know a bit of how it feels. But the cure is easy,I know an old woman who has wrote down on paper and put it on her wall;"What would Jeesus do",and that is what I believe is a thing You can do. Before You do something or say,ask Your self what Jeesus would say or do. That way You can be sure that You don't do anything wrong,and in the same You kind of think of the message from the Bible,the truth,the way and life. And every time You are not sure of what You are about to think of,I know that if You are lonely or alone,bored,what ever,pray,maybe Hail Mary or for someone or for Your self,keep in "thouch" whit God,and You will see that in a few weeks You feel much much better. I hope You will have some use of theese advices,
blessings,Totterman.
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  #5  
Old Sep 24, '10, 3:50 am
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JRKH JRKH is offline
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Default Re: Why is scrupulosity a bad thing, and what does God think about it?

Being Scrupulous, that is having Scruples, is not, in itself, a bad thing. Not having balance - Now that is something else again.

Scrupulocity becomes a problem when there is not a balance between seeking perfection in Christ on the one hand and recognizing that God Loves you just as you are on the other hand. It becomes a problem when one loses sight of the goal and become lost in the minutia.
It's like a person who decides that, even though they have never done much excersize in their lives, decides that they want to run in a Marathon. So they get up off their couch, set aside their beer and potato chips and head out the door to run 23 miles. When they collapse in abject failure after running only 23 yards, they beat themselves up because they could not run 23 miles.
The wise person knows that, in order to achieve their goal, they must set intermediate goals, walk - then run - short distance then longer - eat better, rest better, and so on. building up from small discipline to greater discipline. Building on small success and not getting down over small failures. Yet in all the goal remains the same. To run 23 miles, to finish the race.....

God is saddened to see his children get caught up in such issues. Christ tried to tell us not to. He rode the Jewish leadership pretty hard about how they were too caught up in rules and were missing the bigger issues.
Those who suffer from Scrupulocity have a tough road. But God does provide an out through prayer, reflection, and reconciliation.

Peace
James
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  #6  
Old Sep 24, '10, 4:21 pm
timeandeternity timeandeternity is offline
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Default Re: Why is scrupulosity a bad thing, and what does God think about it?

Hi Eugen,

As someone who suffered from pretty severe scrupulosity for a long time, and is still struggling with it (although it has definitely gotten better), I have learned a few things that can perhaps answer your question.
Scrupulosity is very often connected with obsessive-compulsive disorder (which I also deal with--big surprise!), which is when a person obsesses over and worries about very little actions or details that have no importance. For example, when I was very young, I used to treat my two hands as if they had feelings. Because I'm right-handed, I felt that my left hand was being ignored; I would then use my left hand to open drawers, sweep the floor, etc., so that it would have an equal amount of attention as my right hand. This was something I obsessed over constantly--if I didn't "even out" my hands, I felt like I had omitted an action of paramount importance.
Scrupulosity is very similar. A scrupulous person is convinced that certain actions, which have no sin attached to them whatsoever, are actually terrible mortal sins. Often they will be plagued by horribly blasphemous or impure thoughts, and will beat themselves up trying to determine whether or not they consented to these thoughts. When my scrupulosity was especially bad, I was sure that various completely innocent actions would cause me to have impure thoughts. This got so extreme that I actually locked myself in my bathroom, afraid to look at or listen to or do anything, because I thought it would cause me to sin.
I also learned was that it was not my fault that I was scrupulous--heaven knows I didn't want to be that way. So many people tried to tell me, "It's just mind over matter--get over it! Scrupulosity is displeasing to God, so you'd better fix this quickly." Although they were well-intentioned, they honestly had no idea what they were talking about. This is a true suffering--like suffering from a painful illness--and it is no more displeasing to God than physical suffering. Often when a person is scrupulous, they honestly believe that they are doing the right thing, and although this condition can be terribly debilitating, God sees their efforts. I know that it pains Him so much when I go in circles with this problem, beating myself up again and again; but He is constantly trying to get me to trust totally in Him and get away from myself.
Hope this answered your question!
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  #7  
Old Sep 25, '10, 8:22 pm
scimitar60 scimitar60 is offline
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Default Re: Why is scrupulosity a bad thing, and what does God think about it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by timeandeternity View Post
Hi Eugen,

As someone who suffered from pretty severe scrupulosity for a long time, and is still struggling with it (although it has definitely gotten better), I have learned a few things that can perhaps answer your question.
Scrupulosity is very often connected with obsessive-compulsive disorder (which I also deal with--big surprise!), which is when a person obsesses over and worries about very little actions or details that have no importance. For example, when I was very young, I used to treat my two hands as if they had feelings. Because I'm right-handed, I felt that my left hand was being ignored; I would then use my left hand to open drawers, sweep the floor, etc., so that it would have an equal amount of attention as my right hand. This was something I obsessed over constantly--if I didn't "even out" my hands, I felt like I had omitted an action of paramount importance.
Scrupulosity is very similar. A scrupulous person is convinced that certain actions, which have no sin attached to them whatsoever, are actually terrible mortal sins. Often they will be plagued by horribly blasphemous or impure thoughts, and will beat themselves up trying to determine whether or not they consented to these thoughts. When my scrupulosity was especially bad, I was sure that various completely innocent actions would cause me to have impure thoughts. This got so extreme that I actually locked myself in my bathroom, afraid to look at or listen to or do anything, because I thought it would cause me to sin.
I also learned was that it was not my fault that I was scrupulous--heaven knows I didn't want to be that way. So many people tried to tell me, "It's just mind over matter--get over it! Scrupulosity is displeasing to God, so you'd better fix this quickly." Although they were well-intentioned, they honestly had no idea what they were talking about. This is a true suffering--like suffering from a painful illness--and it is no more displeasing to God than physical suffering. Often when a person is scrupulous, they honestly believe that they are doing the right thing, and although this condition can be terribly debilitating, God sees their efforts. I know that it pains Him so much when I go in circles with this problem, beating myself up again and again; but He is constantly trying to get me to trust totally in Him and get away from myself.
Hope this answered your question!
Wow! Does this mean I have scrupulosity aswell? I seem to have the exact same symptoms. The exact same as you described here. I feel that if I move to the right too much than the left, my family will die, or something like that. I know it sounds stupid but its really serious and It's hard for me to ever really feel like Im doing the right thing. Peace, Thomas.
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  #8  
Old Sep 26, '10, 3:01 pm
TheQuestioner TheQuestioner is offline
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Default Re: Why is scrupulosity a bad thing, and what does God think about it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by scimitar60 View Post
Wow! Does this mean I have scrupulosity aswell? I seem to have the exact same symptoms. The exact same as you described here. I feel that if I move to the right too much than the left, my family will die, or something like that. I know it sounds stupid but its really serious and It's hard for me to ever really feel like Im doing the right thing. Peace, Thomas.
Yep, sounds like OCD.
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  #9  
Old Sep 26, '10, 6:56 pm
Student09 Student09 is offline
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Default Re: Why is scrupulosity a bad thing, and what does God think about it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by timeandeternity View Post
I also learned was that it was not my fault that I was scrupulous--heaven knows I didn't want to be that way. So many people tried to tell me, "It's just mind over matter--get over it! Scrupulosity is displeasing to God, so you'd better fix this quickly." Although they were well-intentioned, they honestly had no idea what they were talking about. This is a true suffering--like suffering from a painful illness--and it is no more displeasing to God than physical suffering.
Amen - this cannot be emphasized enough. Scrupulosity is "bad" in the same way that a painful physical illness is bad, but it is not sinful. If Martin Luther had scrupulosity and that played a part in his rejecting Confession, it does not follow that he left the Church and started heresies because he was scrupulous - it just means that he reacted to his own scrupulosity in a way that was objectively sinful. Likewise, a person who came down with cancer might get angry at God, lose their faith and stop going to church, but it would not be true to say that they left the Church because they had cancer or that cancer causes people to apostasize. Incidentally, saints who suffered from scruples include St. Alphonsus Liguori, and St. Therese of Lisieux.
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  #10  
Old Sep 27, '10, 12:17 am
timeandeternity timeandeternity is offline
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Default Re: Why is scrupulosity a bad thing, and what does God think about it?

Hi Thomas,

It definitely sounds like scrupulosity to me. I would recommend finding a good spiritual director and following all his advice--even if it goes against your conscience (very hard for a scrupulous person!)--as this is probably the best thing you can do for yourself right now. I'll be praying for you.

God Bless!
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