Thursday, March 13, 2008

How Can We Tell Where We Stop and God Begins?

Paul Tournier on Refraining from Judgement
"In theory, each of our thoughts, feelings, and actions may be the expressions of the automatic determinism of our physiological, psychological animal reactions, as well as the effect of a spiritual inspiration, free and creative. But often we think we are acting on inspiration when we are the puppets of our automatic mechanisms. And often, too, the particular style which our natural temperament gives to our behavior hides its spiritual source. It is easier still to be mistaken about other people! We must therefore abstain from judging others, that is to say, we must renounce the claim to be able to make from outside a diagnosis of how much of their behavior derives from the Spirit and how much from nature. Even where we are ourselves concerned, we never know ourselves completely... At one moment we find that there is something God-given in what seems the most natural of our reactions, and at the next we discover something still human in what we have thought to be our most genuine spiritual experiences."

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