Sometimes it creeps me out how charismatic some people are. I am not accusing them of being a sociopath, it scares how irresistible some people’s personalities are. It is very difficult to dislike them. The same goes for beauty.
I think you are right to have a sense that one can be manipulated by those faculties, but not everyone (obviously) who possesses them is set out to do evil with them. Also, If I’m not mistaken, St. Alphonse De Ligouri said that beauty is not something to aspire to as it brings with it more curse than blessing, though the world might think otherwise.
Unfortunately, we may not even ever realize something like that until its too late but we are supposed to judge by God’s standards.
As far as manipulative people goes… in Scripture, Proverbs, Sirach and a few other books have some good chunks of advice on how to spot people who may not be so good for us. This is not to ‘hate’ them (no!) but to just look out for ourselves and our loved ones. Evil exists. In the Gospels, Christ Jesus did tell us to “watch”. This is different than being ‘suspicious’ of someone. A suspicious person is already accusing and judging without any proof, with motives of jealousy or spite. A cautious person who is watching is aware something could be amiss and takes cautious motions to prevent injury.
Sometimes I feel people are apt to worship beauty rather than God. Beauty is awe inspiring. God made poop and garbage too… and I’m not putting down God when I say that. There are some really good uses for poop and garbage, but in no way does anyone find it ‘beautiful’ by human standards, nevertheless, it has its place in this world. We use it to fertilize our plants after it breaks down becomes compost… its good soil! Do you think Jesus took any of that into consideration when he told his parable of the sower of the seeds?
We are to judge by GOD’s standards and not by what the world craves.
I would say they are indeed gifts from God, just as intelligence, strength, a good sense of humor, etc. are all gifts from God.
The danger is twofold: As you realize, God’s gifts can be abused in order to manipulate or otherwise hurt others. Just as my hands are gifts from God, but I could use them to physically abuse someone.
The other danger is that we will forget that the “less desired” gifts (by human standards) are often just as valuable. Homeliness (by human standards), simple-mindedness, weakness, etc., these all have their value too, if God has seen fit to endow one with them.
Each side of the spectrum has its challenges: Usually, it’s easy to get by in life if you have the more coveted gifts, so there is less forcing you to grow and mature in holiness. But on the flip side, it is more difficult to appreciate ones traits if they seem to be on the less coveted end of the spectrum, and that can be problematic too.
Blessings in Christ,
Interesting thread! Ive noticed the same thing with alot of people, I meet alot of new people with my job, as I deal with the public in-directly, but still see and talk to quite a few people on a daily basis, Ive met some very charming people, I think they could get whatever they desire by using this talent, and Im sure people that have this have used it in this way, probably in their teens and early 20s, I had alot of friends during this time in my life that were charming, they used it mostly to get what they wanted from females, some using it on a different girl every day!! But then again, there were girls doing the same thing back then.
Another thing Ive noticed is in modern times, there is not that many ‘ugly’ people, Ive noticed this before, but never really thought about it, does make me wonder why this is though, I mean, I remember back when I was in school, I cal recall quite a few less than attractive kids, but whenever I see alot of kids getting off school, and coming into the store next to a middle school, I cannot recall seeing an ugly kid! I guess this has something to do with the different generations and maybe traits that made someone ugly back in the 70s or 80s, are slowly disappearing? IDK, thats the only thing I can think of to explain it (shrugs?)
If this is true, just imagine how people will look in another 50 or so years?!! LOL, Ugly will be a thing of the past!
Remember the parable of the talents. Our Lord will ask even what we did with the one talent.