Kindness provides people opportunities for make decisions for themselves without manipulating them to conform to one’s ideology with words like “for your own good”. This reminds me of some people who claim to be christians quoting verses out of context on sin and hell and telling others they are warning people about sin and hell “for their own good”. We know this is not love – this is ego and sin-consciousness masquerading as love.
Even Jesus respected people’s free will, such as allowing the rich young man to walk away when he didn’t want to follow him – Jesus didn’t try to manipulate him by saying “for your own good”, and Jesus most certainly wasn’t acting out of ego or sin-consciousness.
I suppose there is a fine line between wanting the best for others and using subtle fear and threat to try to convince others to do one’s bidding. When it comes to sharing the gospel of grace and peace for example, I think it is alright for people to share about how good God is and how perfect we are made in Love’s image and how loved we are, with no conditions attached because love is meant to be unconditional, and it is up to the hearer to accept the message for oneself at one’s own timing without feeling pressurised or obligated to.
It is another thing altogether for those in the evangelical christian circles to tend to use veiled threats of so-called hell and say “for your own good” as an attempt to brow-beat another person into submission. The former seeks to build up with love, while the latter is just acting out of ego and fear due to their being attached to their fear-based doctrines and dogma.
The Christian Ego Examined
“Christianity is an ego trip. This is proven by the attitudes and actions of Christians, as they attempt to force their views on others and indulge in ideas that allow them to view the universe as something that revolves around their life.” – Darryl Sloan