Which Sword

I read an interesting article this morning showing how Omarosa Manigault Newman is using Donald Trump’s own plays against him. We all know how Trump attacks when he feels attacked. She has written a book of attacks, and is using the same media savvy that made Trump a celebrity to promote it. The article argues that he taught her the tricks. If so, then if this is the art of making a deal, she read the playbook carefully. Time (and possibly the courts) will sort out who is using what amount of truth vs. untruth in this fractious face-off. It’s quite the drama. They ought to take it on daytime TV.

However, as always, there are other implications. The moral question of which sword one uses in the fight for truth is one people of faith need to be raising.

Gerald May, in his book, Will and Spirit, shows how surrender lies at the heart of the spiritual life. Most of the book discusses what willing surrender means for spiritual health and vitality, and the way the ego tries its hardest to avoid full surrender. In one telling chapter, however, he shows how there are powers to which surrender is destructive. He says, “To direct one’s will toward ‘getting even’ may provide a temporary release of aggressive energy and a transient boost for pride, but it can never make one feel good about oneself. Pride always involves consideration of how one appears to others, and it erodes that deep inner feeling of self-worth that is known as integrity.”1 He argues that to surrender to the desire for vengeance is to choose to destroy the world within and without.

It DOES matter what playbook one is reading, for it defines what constitutes winning. Pride is always its own destruction. One cannot use hell’s sword to fight for heaven.


1May, Gerald G. Will and Spirit (p. 266). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.

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