Catholic Christian teaching is that despair is thinking you are so important that God can't heal and forgive you. Presumption is the view that God owes you only good things no matter what you do and that he knows he has to make sure you get them. He has to think of you as perfect even if it means disregarding and excusing the wrongs you do. Fans of the sin of presumption never apologise to God for sin.  You cannot celebrate his kindness if you think he is just being kind. It needs to affirm your own position as the self-appointed divinity.

Both views make it clear that God must regard you as the centre.  So you have despair and presumption that look like opposites. In fact both of them displace God and elevate you to the throne in his stead. They send the message that you only need you. That you want and need no help from God or faith in him.  Both views overstate how important you believe yourself to be.

The Christians say you must not take yourself so seriously. You must take the death of Jesus seriously. The implication is this view puts you in your proper place.

Does that make sense?     They say that the death of Jesus shows how serious sin is against those who exercise presumption.  Also, as Jesus is taking the death and punishment we deserve, there is no room for holding that if we do something terrible that there is no mercy.  Jesus died for the forgiveness of sins.  In real life, this teaching solves nothing.  The presumptuous person does not care if their sin murders Jesus for like the other sins it is nothing in their eyes.  The despairing person might think they have done something unforgiveable and now they are told they have killed poor Jesus!

If despair and presumption mean you pridefully put yourself in front of everything else, that you make yourself too wrapped up in yourself to help others either way, who says that being without them is any better?  If you have three options a and b and c and a is pride and b is pride that does not mean that c is not pride too.

It is a safe bet that all Christians may have both sins in them at the one time.  They can think one sin will never be forgiven and that another one matters so little it should be almost rewarded.

Those suffering from depression will think that this is the sin of despair.  The teaching definitely stigmatises depressed people and is a reason why people of faith are doing more harm mentally and emotionally to others than anybody admits.


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