Attracted to Losing Virtue

That’s why a “good man going wrong” attracts people. They stand around and literally warm themselves at the calories of virtue he gives.

This Side of Paradise p. 183

Why do we gain pleasure at others’ downfall—especially good others? Jealousy? Envy? Inferiority? Are we just glad there’s one less person to look up to? Is it the ability to say, “Well, at least I don’t do that”? The Apostle Paul had something to say about that line of reasoning. I wonder if we really do think there’s a balance of virtue in the universe and if someone else loses, I must be gaining?

But surely we know the truth deep down. We’re all wretched and in need of a Savior—all in need of feeding off the calories of the most virtuous of all who poured out his virtue on all who would repent of self and believe that he took our wretchedness upon himself, suffered in our place the punishment we deserved, and rose again on the third day. That results in being warmed, indeed. 

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