Familiarity Breeds Contempt on Earth While Familiarity Breeds Love in Heaven
We’ve all heard the saying “familiarity breeds contempt.” The hidden implication here is that this saying applies to relationships on earth. In “Psychology Today”, author Mel Schwartz (L.C.S.W.) comments: “In relationships, the problem is not with familiarity, but more about that to which we’re acclimating. For example, disrespectful, dishonoring, and negative energy all too often become familiar territory in relationships. These are the elements that cause contempt.”
If one or both people in a relationship (friendship, marriage or otherwise) are not on the POCSI (Path of Continual Self-Improvement), but are rather in the POTS (Pond of Terminal Stagnation), then the more these two people spend time getting to know one another, the more they see each other’s flaws and imperfections, and the more likely resentment and contempt are to set in.
Now in Heaven, things are quite different. Everyone in Heaven is perfect, with no personality or physical defects. There is no deficiency in anyone’s capacity to love others, and in any case, everyone is quite lovable! So the more you get to know someone in Heaven, the more you love that person because their wonderful qualities keep shining all the time. We might then say that in Heaven, “familiarity breeds love.” Jesus invites us to strive for Christian perfection when He said: “Be perfect, therefore, as your Heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48). Striving for perfection takes work, but the rewards in a relationship far outweigh the effort, especially when both people are striving to become the best person that God created them to be. This process takes self-awareness, humility, patience and perseverance. On the bright side, the work that we put into continually improving ourselves on earth will pay off when we get to Heaven. As a matter of fact, if we fail to improve upon our weaknesses and failings here on earth, then it means that we are really not trying to live the two most important commandments that Jesus stressed: (1) loving God above all else, and (2) loving our neighbour as we love ourselves. We might even find ourselves excluded from Heaven when our earthly life is over!
Now we can see that Heavenly relationships are really extensions of our earthly ones. If we have a lot of love in our relationships here on earth, then we will have a super-abundance of loving relationships in Heaven, where familiarity breeds love. Conversely, if we find that our earthly relationships are filled with contempt, then we need to do something to change that state of affairs, because in the place that is the antithesis of Heaven in the after-life, familiarity breeds contempt, lots of it, and for all eternity! So the choice is ours…strive for perfection in our personal lives, and try to live a life of love with others who also believe in loving relationships and friendships. Or, stagnate in our personalities and growth as human beings, live in relationships of strife and contempt here on earth, and prepare for much more of the same in the after-life.