The Role Of Virtue In Robert C. Cooper's Spiritual Emotions

Superior Essays
In his book, “Spiritual Emotions: A Psychology of Christian Virtues,” Robert C. Roberts dissects the six Christian emotion-virtues that he equates to fruits of the spirit. The six emotion-virtues he explores in the book are contrition, joy, gratitude, hope, peace, and compassion. In contrast, Terry D. Cooper explores the balance between pride and low self-esteem and how they both relate to the human condition in his book “Sin, Pride & Self-Acceptance.” The debate about whether human’s primary problem is related to pride or to low self-esteem has been going on since before the days of Augustine. Regardless as to which side of the argument an individual falls on for the pride versus self-esteem debate, Roberts indirectly offers a solution to …show more content…
The person who truly experiences Christian peace is someone who overcomes the emotions of upset. These emotions of upset could be anxiety, anger, grief, guilt, or others. The proud person is likely to experience many feelings of upset including anxiety. In creating an image for themselves, the proud person experiences anxiety when this image comes under threat. The proud person wants God to care for their image as well. When their prideful and selfish needs aren’t attended to in the way that they desire, they experience feelings of anxiety. Christian peace eradicates these feelings of anxiety. When we don’t look to God to provide for our earthly needs, but instead look to him to seek his kingdom, we will find peace and comfort knowing that he will provide for us spiritually. The prideful person may also struggle with anger. Their self-centeredness predisposes them to look at others from a position of righteousness. They alienate their neighbor through their anger because they are incapable of relating to such sinners. Christian peace eradicates these feelings of anger. When we rid ourselves of the pride that makes us look down upon our neighbors, we are able to construe ourselves as fellow sinners with one another. The peace that results from this construal rids us of our anger and instead brings fellowship. Persons with low self-esteem also struggle with emotions of upset. These individuals might be more likely to struggle with guilt. Roberts writes, “Guilt is a construal of oneself as sullied by one’s own misdeeds or omissions, as deserving punishment and alienated from the standard of righteousness and the person(s) one has offended against” (Roberts, p. 176). Just as the proud person alienates himself from his neighbors through anger, the person with low self-esteem alienates himself from his neighbors through guilt. The feelings of guilt that this person experiences are absent of the feelings of being loved, forgiven, and

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