When others sin


#1

I’m a college student. I’m just wondering what the proper response is to somebody who is talking about (or even bragging about) how they committed a particular sin.

For example, a lot of people talk about how they “got so smashed” or whatever. Or how they download music illegally. Or how they steal things from our campus dining hall. Or they simply use the Lord’s name in vain. Or gossip about somebody.

What is the proper response if the person is Catholic? What is the proper response when the person is only marginally/nominally Catholic? And what is the proper response if the person is not even Catholic or Christian?

My stomach turns every time somebody says something I know is wrong; and I feel like I want to do something about it. But am I really supposed to correct everybody’s sins?


#2

Maybe the best answer is to find the other devout Catholics and hang with them? We really have to do our best to keep our lives squared away and show that hope that is in us. On theft…one of my favorites is, “Geez dude, you didn’t have to steal…if I’d known ya needed it I’d’ve given ya mine”. That way ya don’t come off all “holier than thou” and show that there’s a good moral alternative. It might cost ya something…but consider it as given to the Lord Himself.

Pax vobiscum


#3

The first thing to do is examine your own behavior. Do you “go along” when someone talks like this? Do you cave into peer pressure, at least externally? A lot of people do – if someone tells a racist joke, for example, people who disapprove will laugh nervously, rather than show disapproval.

Once youv’e examined your own behavior, work out for yourself how you SHOULD behave. First of all, you don’t want to reinforce that behavior – that is, give the person the impression that you approve of his behavior or think it’s smart.

Next, consider how you can subtly communicate that you don’t approve, that you think his behavior is stupid, infantile, and so on.

Finally, be prepared to change your circle of acquaintences. If the people you hang with keep up this sort of behavior, find new friends.


#4

Both of you have indicated that I might have to hang out with different people. If I ban all sinners from my friendship, I will have no friends. Even Jesus shared company with those who didn’t understand His message. What would He have told them of little faith?


#5

[quote=justbeinfrank]Both of you have indicated that I might have to hang out with different people. If I ban all sinners from my friendship, I will have no friends. Even Jesus shared company with those who didn’t understand His message. What would He have told them of little faith?
[/quote]

Jesus didn’t have to worry about His OWN soul. He wasn’t liable to be contaminated by bad company.

I would first of all examine my own behavior – as I said. I’d try to go from feeling uncomfortable when they talk about things like this, to making THEM feel uncomfortable.

Then I’d consider if my efforts might be more effective elsewhere – as in reinforcing those who DON’T do such things.


#6

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