Jopsul was lazy and messy. Jopsul excused himself from hard work while expecting a lot from others.

Jopsul was commanded and encouraged to work quietly and to earn his own living. Jospsul was told that if he rejected this command, the community would take note of him and have nothing to do with him, in order that he may be ashamed; and this was to serve as a brotherly warning to Jopsul.

Jopsul was hurt. Jopsul pitied himself.

Jopsul went to complain to one of the community leaders. Jopsul said, “Why have you not helped me more?” The community leader said, “Go up by yourself to the forest, and there clear ground for yourself.” Jopsul said, “That sounds like hard work; I don’t want to do that.” The leader said, “You are an image-bearer of God, you have great power, the hill country shall be yours, for though it is forest, you shall clear it and possess it to its farthest borders.” Jopsul despised the leader, and called him “cruel.” Jopsul loathed the pressure the leader had put on him.

Years later Jopsul cleared that forest and planted tobacco. The tobacco crops grew and Jopsul employed dozens of hard-working immigrants and refugees. Jopsul acquired a deep and genuine appreciation for the work of dignifying people via providing them an opportunity to rigorously labor on his tobacco farm. When Jopsul would go into town, lazy men would hold him in contempt and call him “legalistic.” Jopsul would look upon them with love and say, “Brothers, work hard and earn your own living, lest people regard you as shameful and have nothing to do with you.” The lazy men hated Jopsul for loving them this way, and they called him “self-righteous.”

It bothered Jospsul to be labeled a “villain.” Jospsul went to the leader who had shamed him all those years ago, and asked, “How do you bear being labeled ‘villain’ by those you love?” The leader gave Jopsul a cigar cutter, and said, “When ye gaze upon thine cigar cutter, remember and relish the good gift of thy farm and all the blessed dignity occurring therein.”



“The man who lies to himself can be more easily offended than anyone else. You know it is sometimes very pleasant to take offense, isn’t it? A man may know that nobody has insulted him, but that he has invented the insult for himself, has lied and exaggerated to make it picturesque, has caught at a word and made a mountain out of a molehill–he knows that himself, yet he will be the first to take offense, and will revel in his resentment till he feels great pleasure in it.”
― Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov