This fool.

Do not be overrighteous,
    neither be overwise—
    why destroy yourself?
Do not be overwicked,
    and do not be a fool—
    why die before your time?
It is good to grasp the one
    and not let go of the other.
    Whoever respects God will avoid all extremes
Ecclesiastes 7:16-18

This is one of my favorite passages from Scripture though I've never heard a single sermon nor read even one article written about it. I suppose it could be a bit "dangerous" if looked at from a self-centered perspective, but it is an incredible insight of wisdom which really deserves a closer look.

My sweet new jammie-jams on Christmas Eve night 2012

When we take ourselves, or our opinions, or even our beliefs too seriously, we over identify with them instead of the task given to us: love God with your whole heart, soul, mind, and strength and, likewise, love your neighbor as yourself. Our opinions and beliefs define us when it should be the life they produce.

On the other hand, when we don't give ourselves thought and time for righteousness (which only means right-standing with God), we end up having no identity at all. People become nothing more to us than expendable supporting actors in our live-action dramedy, where we are the stars aimlessly following our impulses.

Both of these dispositions are self-centered and destructive. One uses the idea of God as a cosmic spotlight on themselves, while the other uses humanity as a prop in their one man show.

Silent prayer helps us to take our thoughts, opinions, and emotions less seriously by discovering what really is so serious about life.