Disappointment. . . frustration. Feelings such as these fill my heart when medical students and residents exhibit "intellectual superiority". Over the last 20 years, teaching the importance of the whole person to medical students and residents has not been easy. Students think they know what they need to learn. So, often this vital element of medicine is not taught but viewed as an adjunct to treatment, not nearly as important as diagnostic tests and treatment protocols.

Yet this same kind of superiority manifests itself in my life too. For example, I sometimes make judgments regarding scripture – actually considering certain teachings of Jesus as more important than others. How audacious!

Last week I was studying the Beatitudes with a group. I realized that, for years I had glossed over the second one, "Blessed are those who mourn. . . ." As discussion continued, I learned more about mourning –

  • Not only mourning over my own sin, afflictions, and sorrows
  • But also mourning over the sin, afflictions, and sorrows of others, taking no pleasure in the failures of others

Discussing the elements of mourning and considering the issues of my own heart left me with a new appreciation for the Beatitude,

"Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted."             (Matthew 5:4)

I also realized that, once more, I had made a judgment, about God's word no less! Perhaps I had thought that thirsting after righteousness (verse 5) or exhibiting mercy (verse 7) was more blessed. Picking and choosing from Jesus' lessons allows me to concentrate on only the issues with which I want to deal – the ultimate of PIOUS SUPERIORITY.

Forgive me if this character flaw has impacted you. . . .and join with me in striving to honor the whole counsel of God.


Sharing the journey with you,

Bob Snyder