Tag Archives: Jean Twenge

Sunday Devotional: Conduct your affairs with humility

Luke 14:1, 7, 12-14

On a sabbath Jesus went to dine
at the home of one of the leading Pharisees,
and the people there were observing him carefully.

He told a parable to those who had been invited,
noticing how they were choosing the places of honor at the table….

“When you hold a lunch or a dinner,
do not invite your friends or your brothers
or your relatives or your wealthy neighbors,
in case they may invite you back and you have repayment.
Rather, when you hold a banquet,
invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind;
blessed indeed will you be because of their inability to repay you.
For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”

In his brief three years of public ministry, our Lord Jesus the Christ again and again warned against the sin of pride and grandiosity, aka narcissism, and exhorted us to be humble.

The Old Testament, too, sounded the same warning and exhortation in the Book of Sirach, commonly called the Wisdom of Sirach — a work of ethical teachings, from approximately 200 to 175 B.C., written by Ben Sira of Jerusalem, and the largest wisdom book from antiquity to have survived.

Sirach 3:17-18

My child, conduct your affairs with humility,
 and you will be loved more than a giver of gifts.
 Humble yourself the more, the greater you are,
 and you will find favor with God. 

The opposite of humility is narcissism or grandiosity — the exaltation and excessive love of self, making ourselves “as gods”. As such, narcissism is an offense against God because it violates the first of the Ten Commandments:

“I am the Lord your God:
you shall not have strange gods before me.”

As American culture becomes increasingly corrupt, it’s no accident that studies testify to a corresponding increase in narcissism “across the board,” in the words of San Diego State University psychology professor Jean Twenge, the author of Generation Me (Free Press, 2006).

Twenge wrote that narcissism and one of its behavioral manifestations — entitlement — among college students had increased steadily and dramatically since 1979:

What we really have is a culture that has increasingly emphasized feeling good about yourself and favoring the individual over the group. And that has happened across the board, culturally, and it’s showing no signs of slowing down. I have a 14-month-old daughter, and the clothing available to her has ‘little princess,’ or ‘I’m the boss,’ or ‘spoiled rotten’ written on it. This is what we’re dressing our babies in. Schools have programs designed to boost self-esteem. Parents say things like, ‘You shouldn’t care what other people think of you.’ We’re inundated with the notions of ‘feeling special,’ ‘believing in yourself’ and ‘be anything you want to be.’

For that reason, Twenge coined the term “iGeneration” (“i” as in both iPod and “me, me, me”) for the Millennials — those born in the general range of 1981 to 1999.

It is also no accident that the cultural rot and increase in narcissism “across the board” are accompanied by a dramatic increase in overt and coarsened sexuality, which permeats everything.

In a 1992 encyclical, Pastores Dabo Vobis, St. John Paul II explained the cause-and-effect connection between narcissism (the adulation of the self) and an unrestrained and degraded sexuality “reduced to nothing more than a consumer good”:

In this case, many young people undergo an affective experience which, instead of contributing to a harmonious and joyous growth in personality which opens them outward in an act of self-giving, becomes a serious psychological and ethical process of turning inward toward self, a situation which cannot fail to have grave consequences on them in the future. In the case of some young people a distorted sense of freedom lies at the root of these tendencies. Instead of being understood as obedience to objective and universal truth, freedom is lived out as a blind acquiescence to instinctive forces and to an individual’s will to power.… On the religious level, such a situation, if it does not always lead to an explicit refusal of God, causes widespread indifference and results in a life which, even in its more significant moments and more decisive choices, is lived as if God did not exist.

It is also no accident that all of these “Do As Thou Wilt” — a Satanic motto — cultural indicators are accompanied not just by the tolerance, but the celebration of homosexuality and so-called transgenderism.

Psychiatrist Dr. Richard Fitzgibbons, with more than 35 years of clinical experience treating homosexuals, including homosexual priests, said in a 2011 interview that “Narcissism — a personality disorder in which an insatiable need for admiration often leads to attention-seeking behavior — is prevalent among men who struggle with homosexuality.”

And what’s the antidote to narcissism?

Not love of self, but the right kind of love — loving the God who humbled Himself by dying on the cross for our sins, with your whole heart, your whole soul, your whole mind, and with all your strength.

Luke 14:11

For every one who exalts himself will be humbled,
but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.

May the peace and love and humility of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you,

~Eowyn

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Record high: 1 in 4 U.S. adults had no sex in a year

Something interesting is happening in America.

Fox News reports, March 30, 2019, that the latest data from the General Social Survey found that the number of American adults who said they have not had sex in the past year hit a record high in 2018 — 23% or nearly 1 in 4 adults.

The phenomenon is especially notable among young men.

Since 2008, the percentage of men under 30 reporting no sex had nearly tripled to 28%, compared with an 8% increase reported by women in the same age bracket. 18% of women between the ages of 18 and 30 reported no sex in the past year.

San Diego State University psychology professor Jean Twenge pretends to know why:

  • “There are more people in their twenties who don’t have a live-in partner. So under those circumstances, I think less sex is going to happen.”
  • A decline in the number of young men in the labor force may be the reason. The survey showed that 54% of unemployed Americans did not have a steady relationship versus 32% of employed Americans.
  • Young men are more likely to live with their parents than young women: “When you’re living at home it’s probably harder to bring sexual partners into your bedroom.”
  • There are “more things to do at 10 o’clock at night than there were 20 years ago” — “Streaming video, social media, console games, everything else.”

What Professor Twenge omits is another reason: Sex is risky, given the fact that, along with other bugs, sexually-transmitted diseases (STDs) increasingly are resistant to antibiotics.

A recent article in Medium recounts how female urinary tract infection (UTI) has become antibiotic-resistant, with the emergence of “a particularly scary strain of drug-resistant UTI.” If left untreated, UTI can move to the kidneys and, on rare occasions, can even turn deadly.

One woman, Carole Wilson, 61, has had a chronic UTI for 17 months. First diagnosed with UTI in December 2017, Wilson has had 56 courses of antibiotics. She worries that if she catches another type of bacterial infection, like pneumonia, doctors won’t have any antibiotics to treat it. But if she doesn’t continuously treat the UTI, she’s at a high risk for complications like sepsis.

UTI is believed to be caused by gut bacteria like E. coli entering the bladder. While not categorized as an STD, anything that results in bacteria coming into contact with the urethra, like sex, increases risk. As WebMD explains:

Women may be especially prone to UTIs because they have shorter urethras, which allow bacteria quick access to the bladder. Having sex can introduce bacteria into the urinary tract, too.

See also:

~Eowyn

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