Thursday 28 May 2015

Reader's Question: Can warmheartedness be defined?

Reader's Question: "Agree entirely with your recent post on warmheartedness as essential. 

However in my religious and family experience that criterion has been wielded as a demand for capitulation to the sentimental, the manipulative, the doctrinaire conformist, or the resolutely unintelligent. I think without an admixture of creativity, humor, and independence, it's a dicey concept. Also, the Spirit blows where it will, and the upsurge of warmth or compassion is often unexpected and mysterious, sometimes toward objects designated for disapproval. 

"I know it when I see it, but it is seldom pursued as such. More often as spontaneous kindness, or the humility of not meddling or evaluating, or knowing when, and what, to ignore. Do you have more to say about it? Or a serviceable definition?"

My Answer: I think this is just one specific example of the universal need for balance between virtues; and how any one virtue carried to excess (and without balance) will become a sin. 

Having said that, warmheartedness is non-optional for Christians - it cannot be dispensed with or else all other virtues will be undermined and turned to bad. 


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