I am thirty years old, and I think that since childhood I have always been able to accomplish anything that I set my mind to. The downside is that sometimes, when playing games, I tried to take advantage of others by making up “fuzzy” rules, confusing the other players into compliance.

Today, as I look back, I sadly realize that my pattern of taking unfair advantage of people has continued all the way into the present, only now it’s not about childish games. At times I have hurt my family and others that I love. I believe that I am living a double life….

Many would say that I am exaggerating, because I have a great job, a good family, and friends. But I also have a consciousness of God, and I would definitely like to put a stop to all of this. Thanks for your advice.

Dear Friend,

You would like to be a better family member and friend, and you want to please God. You admit that you have manipulated people for your own selfish gain, and you feel guilty, but now it has become a way of life, and you are unable to change even though you have tried.

We would guess that you are probably highly intelligent, but it is clear that you have not been wise. Intelligence gives you the brain capacity to acquire knowledge and skill, while wisdom is the ability to learn from your own experiences and those of others, and then make good choices based on what you have learned.

Taking unfair advantage of others is one of the bad choices that you have been making for as long as you can remember. You have chosen to think about yourself first—what you want, what is best for you—instead of caring about the good of others. Obviously this has been hurtful to your family and friends.

The tendency to be selfish and wrapped up in ourselves is part of our human condition. In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve chose to go after what they thought was best for them, not caring about what was right or wise.(1) Their sin and selfishness have been passed down to us through the generations.

We suggest that you add some accountability to your life. A professional counselor would be best, but if that is not possible, then find someone who you respect highly, and ask that person to help you analyze your past selfish choices, focusing on how to make better choices for the present and the future.

Set daily and weekly goals for treating others more unselfishly, and read over your list of goals each morning. When you know you have treated someone badly, apologize sincerely, laying aside your need to have the upper hand.

Most importantly, confess your sin to God and ask for His forgiveness in the name of His Son Jesus Christ. You need God’s help to change your way of thinking and living. God can give you the wisdom you need to be the person you desire to be.

We wish you well,

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