UNDESIRABLE CHARACTER TRAITS OVERCOME

First published in the online Indonesian Herald of Christian Science

I used to get very easily offended. I had excessively high self-esteem and was arrogant. When someone criticized me, I quickly responded in great anger. When a friend unwittingly said something I didn't like, I would sulk and refuse to talk to him. When an acquaintance had a feast or a party and I was not invited, I felt deeply wounded. At that time I thought that this easily offended behavior and this high self-esteem were natural and not wrong. I felt that those character traits were gifts of God, which I had always had since I was born.

But gradually what I thought was satisfying to my heart and to my feelings became a burden. I felt only bitterness, resentment, grudges, and gloom. I was always blaming others. My life became difficult and full of suffering and problems. I became enslaved by my desire to get even with others in order to be satisfied. I reaped a harvest of chronic illnesses, and I often had to go to the doctors. Financial lack gave me headaches, but I did not want to borrow money since I believed it would be an insult and a humiliation. Complaining, grumbling, and cursing became my close friends. I felt God had permitted these situations, and—like it or not—I had to experience them.

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