Here is a recent comment from a reader named Rob:
I’m utterly discouraged. I try to turn around and be better so I’ll be on the way to heaven, but I still love things I should not, like bullying people online. I get off on being right and defeating someone in a debate, and I can be very rude and self-righteous. Even if I stay away from political forums, I still want badly to go into the fray, and sometimes I give in. My attitude towards people is very hostile still, and it doesn’t change. How can one not be discouraged? Obviously I care enough to post this and read the articles here and elsewhere, but I wonder if I’m just soothing my conscience. I still want to stand on people’s necks, so to speak. It’s the worst thing about me, but I only fear hell, not the thing itself. And often I just don’t care, especially right after I wake up. I just go right to it.
It seems hopeless, from my point of view.
Yes, it’s very discouraging. But it’s not hopeless.
This does not mean we are doomed to be jerks forever. It does not mean there is no way off the slippery slope to hell. We can change. But a will to change is not enough. To bring about real and lasting change in our character, we must adopt effective strategies and methods.
It helps to have an understanding of the difference between our inner self and our outer self, and where to begin our attack. Contrary to popular belief, changing ourselves from the inside out is not the most effective strategy.