Maybe the reason is that people who watch HBO are not sanctified.
But I do wonder why the Christian world seems to view niceness, friendliness, and optimism the way much of the network television audience does — as if people who are all the time happy, cooperative, and encouraging are the way we should really be.
Is it possible for Christians to like characters like — even find appealing — Olive Kitteridge, who shun pollyannaism, speak what’s on their mind, and mock human gullibility? Or is it possible for Christians to see in Larry David’s experience some of the real challenges that attend human interactions — such as an aversion to meet-and-greet chumminess, disdain for accommodating the in-laws wishes, calculation of the costs of going to the dentist’s home for a meal? The ideal believer in some parts of the Christian world is the one who is always giving, never sees mixed motives (or worse), and always wants everyone to be comfortable and
Of course, some Christians I know are incredibly positive and gracious in their disposition and interactions with others. I sometimes come away wondering what their secret is, wishing that I could find that part of my self. Just as often, I wonder what these folks are like when they get home to a private “safe” space. Do they then begin to unwind about the annoyance of my manners, the pretense of my bow tie, the folly of my claims? Keeping those thoughts to themselves does not make them hypocritical. Saying whatever is on your mind, being genuine or candid, can be just as unpleasant as the endlessly upbeat person. You have to know your audience if you are going to reveal some of your less than acceptable ideas or opinions.
Still, I have doubts about the humanity of a person who never entertains a critical or negative thought. Such a disposition is part and parcel of being fallen — you/we are inherently ornery. But it goes beyond sin and sanctity. Simply to observe and acknowledge the human condition, from the crabbiness of an Olive Kitteridge, to the immaturity of a Larry David, is to be human.
In which case, if Christians think that holiness leads to Mary Tyler Moore, does sanctification mean we become inhuman?