Is it a sin to be ruthless?


From day 1 I’ve been raised to work hard for everything that i want. What i mean by ruthless is that i will “take down” anyone that gets in my way of making my dreams and goals come true(studies wise). Now im attending a university, and I act nice to my nursing friends, but really i only see them as competition. Is it wrong that i see everyone as competition? Don’t get me wrong im nice and humble to people, but i never let my guard down. I mean, were living in a tough world and everyone reaps what they sow, but is this wrong? Thank you all in advance! God bless! :thumbsup:


The “Ruthless” people I know have done multiple terms in prison, shot and stabbed people, some belong to criminal street gangs and they have mottos like “If she breaks my heart, I will break her face” so needless to say, most are or have been abusive to women too.

I would consider a different term for yourself than “Ruthless” :slight_smile:


I don’t know exactly what you mean, but it sounds about 180 degrees away from ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’

Hard work is virtuous. Seeing other people as competition to “take down” and failing to treat them as neighbors is not.


Look I just remember this one story about a shoe manufacturer (I think). There were two competing shoe factories that were competing in a certain market. One day one of them burned down. Hearing about his competitor’s losses, the owner of the surviving company picked up the phone and called the owner of the other company. He said that God had blessed his business. He said he had enough of the market to be comfortable. He said competition was healthy. So he offered to let the owner of the second company use his factory at night free of charge to make whatever product he could until he could get back on his feet. And that is how the second company got back into the market.

Now I don’t know if this is really an exact answer to your question. All I know is that I always wanted to be like that more generous owner. I always would want to think of my competitors as my friends.


The term “ruthless” can be a subjective. Competitiveness is not, in and of itself, sinful, but doing it in a mean-spirited fashion would be. In light of this, I recommend that you ponder exactly what you mean in terms of your own personal behavior and mindset when you use the term “ruthless.” For example, how would you specifically “take down” someone who got in your way? Next, imagine what doing the opposite would entail. Then come up with a word that best describes this opposite behavior / mindset. If the word you come up with is a virtue, or at least has virtuous attributes, then I think this would indicate that your “ruthless” behavior is, indeed, sinful.

Note that I’m not making a prediction that you have been sinful, I’m simply offering this as a test in order to find the answer to your question.



I think you mean Shrewd.

-But even there, I’m sure there are situations where it’s ruthless, deceitful, and/or manipulative etc, and therefore wrong.


I spent many years working for a fortune 100 company at the corporate HQ. I saw a few great examples of people who had climbed the ladder without stepping on people on the way. They advanced their careers without hurting others. They were not weak people who would be someone’s door mat, but from what I could tell they could look in the mirror.

Then there were the ones who would “take down” others. I can’t say for sure why, or what the other particulars were but they would throw someone under the bus without batting an eye. The ends justify the means type of behavior.

You used the term “ruthless.” We are only here for a short time. We need to think about what is important, why we are here. Unbridled, naked ambition, enemies, vendettas, all that stuff will land one in hell. Their dreams might harm customers, co-workers, innocent people, but as long as they get what they want, they can reason away the rest. They reap what the sow.


I actually disagree with most of the other posters. What you describe doesn’t sound like shrewdness or healthy competition to me. A Christian should not base their success on “taking down” other people. If a person has talent and works hard, they will most likely be more successful than others, but they shouldn’t be purposefully doing things to directly harm others. In a field like nursing, the patients well beings should come first. Nurses should mentor and support each other to that end, not be interested in competing and taking one another down.


I think there’s a difference between being competitive, and being ruthless. Most athletes are competitive, and some are indeed good at being ruthless – “gamesmanship”, they call it. Always seeking an edge, always testing the rules to the limit. But many athletes are just as competitive without being ruthless – “sportsmanship”, they call it.

In some sports like football, hockey, etc., being competitive, even involves controlled violence! But if anyone actually went as far as to deliberately injure a competitor, few would find that acceptable.

However, even if you don’t actually go as far as to, say, cheat on tests, or deliberately sabotage people by, say, telling someone “hey the test is on Friday” when you know it’s actually on Monday, I think it is a problem to view your fellow students ONLY as competitors. That seems to take away from their overall humanity.

Again, many athletes will compete hard against each other ON the field, holding nothing back, but happily go out for a beer after the game with the same people they were trying to beat, earlier. There are many tales of athletes who were fierce rivals, but also good friends.


Not to mention they also makes the lives of their co-workers a living hell.
I don’t want to ever be remembered that way. That’s no legacy.
No honor.
No ruthlessness.
No bueno.


Amen. All you have to do is be honest, have integrity, work hard, and be the best Catholic (insert whatever it is you’re trying to do here) you can be. You’ll make enemies that way, because some people do conquer by ruining others. But it’s the only way God will judge your work favorably; he sees beyond competitive ploys. And I have a feeling He disapproves of anyone who “ruthlessly” eliminates their competitors.



If you care more about pride, power, or wealth than the patient’s well-being, get out of nursing.

Study hard, be the best nurse you can be, and you will reap well what you sow.


I don’t think Jesus would be interested in “taking down” colleagues.

Strive for excellence at whatever it is you do, and seek to build other people up, so that you can do your part in creating a workplace of goodwill, peace, and joy, even if not everybody will do likewise.


Ruthlessness is just as likely to give a person swift promotions and success as it is to backfire. Sure, there are lots of people in high positions that crushed people to get there, but there are just as many you never hear about that did the same strategy and lost big. Either way, it will not bring true joy or fulfill the destiny God has planned for you.

Nobody is immune to crosses or misfortune, but if you’re an honest and hard worker you are far less likely to end up in career trouble, and if you do, you are far more likely to bounce back. You or your family aren’t going to starve.

Difficulties are unpleasant or even terrifying, but are also grinding stones that sharpen our souls, if we allow them to and are willing to see and grasp the sweet with the bitterness. People with low tolerance to stress or pressure are often people that seldom ever had anything bad happen to them. It’s not necessarily an enviable place to be in.


I think we could go as far to say if you care AT ALL about pride, power, or wealth then get out of nursing.


Here is a common definition for ruthless:

**ruthless **: without pity or compassion; cruel; merciless:

Competitiveness is not a horrible trait, but I also don’t think it’s attractive 7 by 24 either. Not that you asked, but more a comentary that hyper agressiveness can turn people off. Not nessisarily a good thing for a nurse.

If you go out of your way too humiliate or tear down anyone in your way then I would reconsider my approach to life. Is it enough to do your best or do you want to crush your “opponents”? When “taking down” someone that is in your way do you give any thought to why you must beat them? If you always have to be the best of the best I would ask myself if I am truly humble or suffer from excessive pride. One thing I’ve learned in life is that I will never be the best. Competing with others 24 x 7 will wear you down. If you have to beat someone, then beat yourself. Improve what you can do and don’t measure yourself strictly against how well you do compared to others.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to do your best, but ask yourself if beating everyone brings glory to God or just to yourself.


Treading over the dead carcasses of your competition might seem like a way to get ahead of the pack; however there are many maxims to remember. Watch who you crawl over on the way to the top; you may have to crawl to them on the way down.That is one. You catch more birds with honey That is another. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Another good one.

Success can be found only in improving yourself, not in being unkind or ruthless in taking down of others. People have a strange habit of remembering unkindness. So does God.
Perhaps nursing may not be the best career for you. Have you thought of taxidermy? LOL

But seriously, true success is not of this world, but in doing the Will of the Father. Your profession is one of caring and succour and is one of the greatest in the world. Do not sully it with silliness, but start caring early and help your colleagues in their studies and you will learn more yourself. Success comes in development of character as well as skills. I know, as I was like you when I was young. I protected myself against the slings and arrows until I woke up one day and found I was protecting the most shriveled up walnut of a soul. I am greatly improved, but inside I am still dangerous.


Speaking of honesty, it reminded me of a post card I received in the mail. According to them, I won a refrigerator/freezer.

Of course I wondered how I could have won such a big gift. When it came in the mail, what I actually won was an insulated tote bag that you could put ice in, and it would keep food cold.

These people have no conscience!

Actually, the mail came in from Belgium. They wanted me to buy candy from them.


This is an odd worldview for someone in nursing to have… And a lonely one too.


I think everyone got the wrong idea…and i guess i did misuse the word ruthless, but i meant that I try to study harder than others because in the field of medicine it is very competitive, and i want patients to receive the best possible care. I strive for nothing more than the care of my patients, and i study hard for all those that i will be taking care of in the future. I could care less about money, positions, power, none of that matters to me, only the wellbeing of my patients. I keep to myself and study hard, i hope i didn’t come off as some terrible individual. :frowning:

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