If somebody says "I bet my soul"


#1

I was helping out a lady today, gave her some money for a bus ticket. My parents worry because I don’t earn very much and give often. They also think the lady was lying. I believed her.

Now my Dad said ^something like “I bet my soul shw was lying”. I was shocked, scared. He says he is absolutely sure nothing can happen because he says that. He just said it. I get very scared about these things. But then I make my parents almost angry because I get so scared. They know I have problems with scrupulosity. But then sometimes, I wonder: Is this really just scrupulosity?

God wouldn’t accept a “bet” said like that, right?? Do I have reason to be scared for my Dad? Is there anything the church says about things like that?

Kathrin


#2

Hi, Kathrin:
When your Dad said, “I bet my soul” I am sure that he was saying it as an expression. He was not REALLY betting his soul! It’s just the same as if someone says,“Where in H*** is he going?” the person does not really think that the person is going somewhere in Hell. He was not taking the name of the Lord in vain, either, because the Lord’s name wasn’t involved. True, it’s probably not the best expression to use–but there are plenty worse!!!


#3

we were bought for our price. How can we bet something that is not ours???


#4

We belong to God. We cannot bet our souls or sell them away. Now, it would be a totally different matter if your father said it out of spite for God or something like that…but that doesn’t sound to me like that is what he was doing. Often times, people say things as idioms and without thinking.
However, you and your parents should know that scrupulosity is a type of obsessive compulsive problem, and getting angry about it isn’t going to help it. You should think about finding a spiritual director that could help you better deal with scrupulosity. And when in doubt about something like this, you can always ask a priest…this is what they are here for, to instruct the members of The Church. Trust me, they’ve heard everything before, so anything you throw at them isn’t going to shock them.

God Bless!

HD


#5

This “Ask an Apologist” answer seems relevant:

[quote=Michelle Arnold]A person could attempt to sell his soul to the devil, thus possibly opening himself to demonic activity; but such a “transaction” does not actually take place because the human soul is inalienable. The freely chosen and deliberate attempt to sell one’s soul to the devil would be a mortal sin; and, like all mortal sins, can be forgiven through repentance and, for a Catholic or Orthodox Christian, through sacramental confession.

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=41305

[/quote]


#6

Charity begins at home. Take care of your own needs, first, so that you don’t end up dependent on someone else, and make them resentful of your giving to others. If your father is supporting you, you should do him the courtesy of helping him with the bills and groceries, instead of giving your money away to strangers.

Now my Dad said ^something like “I bet my soul shw was lying”. I was shocked, scared. He says he is absolutely sure nothing can happen because he says that. He just said it. I get very scared about these things. But then I make my parents almost angry because I get so scared. They know I have problems with scrupulosity. But then sometimes, I wonder: Is this really just scrupulosity?

God wouldn’t accept a “bet” said like that, right?? Do I have reason to be scared for my Dad? Is there anything the church says about things like that?

Kathrin

It’s just a dumb expression. It’s nothing to get worked up over. We all need to be mindful of our language, but if someone else is not being mindful, just let it pass - try to understand the person’s meaning, instead of tangling yourself up in how they express themselves.


#7

I believe that would fall loosely under the ban on oaths, but I wouldn’t be concerned about the mortal sin.

I’d bet she’s lying too, honestly, but I still think that your generosity in this case is commendable. Without sound and specific reason to doubt a person’s sincerity, it seems to me that we Christians are called to give in charity all that is asked of us–and, ultimately, that includes our very lives.

But I digress.


#8

True, my parents let me stay in the upstairs apartment in their house, but I get my own groceries (except sometimes I get some leftovers from them), live my own life, pay my own bills. I give them something for utilities too.

I really felt I did the right thing by helping that woman.


#9

Thank you. :slight_smile: Yes, I kind of see it like that too… And sometimes you just feel you are called to help somewhere.
Some of my friends and family are afraid I am taking it too far though… trusting people too easily, giving too easily when I don’t have so much myself. Living very simply myself, mostly.

Ok, there are situations where I am torn, e.g. charity letters you get again and again (do you give every time? Even when you struggle yourself?), or if somebody asks me for change and they totally look like a junkie (I usually give a small amount anyway, or offer them something to eat like a piece of fruit or a roll or something).


#10

Wow, thanks, that makes a lot of sense.

And thank you everybody else for your replies too!


#11

You should give what you are able, but ensure that you also cover your own needs. We all can spend less and give more, and some give more than others even when they have less - that is all a personal choice. You take each call for charity on its own merits - if someone says they need help, take on face value if you have no reason to doubt - to ignore someone who maybe looks like a drug addict, or alcoholic etc because they might use your money to buy drugs - well that is being judgemental, and it is not for us to do that, so you are right to give a little anyway, even if it just a sandwich.

You should do what is the right thing for you, but you should also make sure that you are not taken advantage of either - pray for guidance from the Holy Spirit and you will do the right thing. Are you happy that you live your life in a good way, happy to live simply in order to help others? You are a better person than I - I still struggle with material things, and find it hard to let go, but am trying!


#12

I don’t think this means you are a lot good person.
I think we all have our struggles, and can grow in love.

I do think we can all do a part in making this world a fairer place. Maybe take sharing more seriously. Not hoard things so much. Not need two or three or more coats and then see somebody who has none and just walk by. Or see somebody who is hungry, and we walk by and have just bought a loaf of bread. Why not share.

Kathrin


#13

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