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Perspective: How not to play God

Harli Marten

I sat in the reception area and overheard a woman saying, “Her house is so cluttered, you can barely walk through it. She can’t manage her six big dogs. She should downsize, get rid of the dogs.”

Who was this loud woman to say what was right for her friend, even if her friend was barely able to manage, even if her ideas bolstered her friend’s well-being?

I have uttered similar words with regards to people I love, who I think are making grave errors in their choices with regards to their lives. I gossip.

Who am I to say what’s right for my friends? Who am I to play God, thinking I know what’s best?

C.S. Lewis slaps me upside the head, “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

I have watched friends walk through difficult times paved by unwise choices. But I have seen how their lives are sacred. The roads they walk are sacred. My job is not to tell them how to live, but simply to listen and love them as they are.

I’m Katie Andraski and that’s my perspective.

Katie Andraski is an author, blogger, and retired composition teacher at Northern Illinois University. You can read more of her writing on Substack at Katie's Ground.