“Describe the ways you like others to think about you in order to garner praise or acceptance. What story do you tell and how do you present yourself to get a good reaction?”
James mentions on page 220 that those who teach in religious spaces have a strong temptation to “get it right.” I regularly give talks on spiritual topics, virtues, etc. It is difficult sometimes to give a talk to other men on a particular virtue that I myself feel I am sorely lacking in.
James goes on, “When we see someone who is obviously undergoing something that is not part of them, part of the truthfulness which is coming upon them is their ability to sit relatively peacefully with themselves as liars. This seems odd, but is very important for those of us who are asked to give witness in some way or other. I’m not advocating being dishonest, I’m advocating relaxing and not being too disturbed as we discover how dishonest we are.”
I’m not sure of the value in this. I see myself as a liar (or at least not proficient in the ideas presented) … do I just live with the knowledge that I’m dishonest or do I strive to improve or un-lie? No one likes dishonesty, in themselves or others.