One of the great things about the internet is we can reach out to different types of people, all around the world. And now with Google Translate working better than ever, it is pretty easy to keep up with internet ‘friends’ who speak a different language than ours.
Isn’t it great?
Well, yes and no.
One of the drawbacks is that we don’t really know the backgrounds of many of our ‘penpals’ and interlocutors. And some could be fiendishly deceived and deceiving.
From observing and discerning many situations in person and over the web, I can say – or suggest – that evil really is real. And moreover, that it uses every trick in the book to try to keep otherwise good people from doing the right thing.
Not a few people from backward and underdeveloped countries, in particular, seem to fall prey to the old “inferiority-superiority” complex outlined so many years ago by psychologist Alfred Adler.
I remember hearing about Adler’s ideas in psychology class and taking note but thinking he wasn’t terribly profound. I was more interested in Freud’s vision of the unconscious, defense mechanisms, and then Gestalt and Jungian ideas.
But looking back, if I had to choose one central dynamic that really messes people up, I think it just might be that “inferiority-superiority” complex.
Some people from egregiously corrupt countries, those hellholes riddled with sexist attitudes, backward thinking, and deeply entrenched organized crime, well they seem to latch on to anything that makes them feel superior when deep down they know their countries are unduly oppressive and unnecessarily impoverished.
They can’t face the facts. Or don’t want to. So they come up with something that makes them feel superior. Maybe their “ancient tradition” or perhaps their “rich cultural history” or knowledge of several languages.
With some individuals, I think their heightened intuition makes them feel superior, even if they use that gift for nefarious purposes.
By way of contrast, Christian scripture clearly tells us that any gift, great or small, is utterly meaningless if it is not grounded in love.
If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 1 Corinthians 13:2
I personally believe that abilities like mind-reading do exist. But I do not believe that makes it okay for someone to abuse that gift for evil purposes.
From my perspective, some folks momentarily see the light – that is, the error of their ways – but the Evil One clamps down on them very hard and fast to make them feel superior again. “Oh, I am a mind-reader. They do not understand, those basic, simple people!”
But it’s all a lie. We are all equal before God. And those who act without love, no matter how gifted they may be, are probably in for a very bad fall.