Does it "count" even when you don't mean it?


#1

Example: you feign interest in someone’s description of their day when, at that moment, you could care less, but affability and charity tells you to be polite and kind. Even if we “do” the proper thing, is it wrong if inside we feel the opposite? This applies to all acts of charity and affability: not truly feeling the way you are supposed to be acting but instead feeling the opposite while doing the “right” thing on the outside. Wouldn’t this make us a hypocrite?


#2

I think it partly depends on whether or not you want to be interested in what they’re talking about. For example it often happens that when my mom would come home from work I would want to tell her all about my day and she would not be in the mood to listen but she would want to. What she used to do was to say, give me about ten minutes and then come back and I’ll listen to anything you have to day.

Also there are some days when I really don’t feel like doing something charitable but often when I go ahead and do the charitable act it makes me feel like doing something else just as charitable or just continuing what I had been doing in the first place. Sometimes doing the act makes you feel like doing the act. I think God has many ways of helping us see what He wants us to do and that He cherishes what we do all the more because we don’t feel like doing it. I especially believe this about praying. There are days that I really just don’t want to pray, but I go ahead and pray anyways and I tell God that I don’t really want to but that I’m going to put my whole heart into it anyways in the hopes that He might understand that even though I don’t feel like it I want to do it for Him. I would suggest offering up your conversations that you don’t want to have to God in order that You will eventually want to have them maybe.

I always though hypocrisy was more of saying one thing but doing another rather than doing one thing but feeling another.


#3

It means you are a human: a being that does what is right instead of being a slave to his natural instincts and base feelings, as an animal is. With time, you will move to change your very attitude and desires, making you closer to God.

What you feel is natural. How you react is Christian.


#4

Well said!

Betsy


#5

Maybe this should be another thread, but this comment got me to thinking.

I am a very introverted person with a very people-intensive job, and quite frankly I spend a lot of my day deeply irritated.:frowning: I don’t want to – it makes me feel guilty and it’s tiring, and when I can’t hide it it’s not good for other people either. (Yes, it gets mentioned every time I go to Confession!)

Much of the time I can take a deep breath, or grit my teeth, or even relax and say a prayer and react charitably. But sometimes I have to “think on my feet,” as it were, and my instantaneous, almost physical reaction of irritation comes through. I know the various reasons for my irritation – largely because of my introversion, but also because of my pride, in that I get irked when people try to “put me in my place” or talk down to me – and I’m struggling with them all.

I do agree that the feelings are natural and a proper response is Christian – sometimes I think doing something good *against *my inclination is better, in that it helps me to grow and to chip away at those inclinations – but any advice about how to learn to react more charitably in situations where you don’t have time to take a time out?


#6

God calls us to faithfulness. We HAVE to do it. We DON’T have to like it! :):slight_smile:


#7

At the present time, I’m working in retail. As you can imagine I’m sure, in retail you have to be polite at all times, courteous and respectful. You might like to say a lot of things to some people, but you can’t. I look at my personality as a collection of switches, and each switch is a different characteristic of my personality. When I go to work, I turn off any switches that may be proud, angry, defiant, argumentative, sarcastic, etc. I leave the switches on that are friendly and cheerful. At the end of the day, it is sometimes exhausting, but I can really see the change during my work day, and it seems to be effective.


#8

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