Nothing gets away with me MORE than hearing true tales of Christian adults acting badly towards others. What people will say and do is beyond me!
I am NOT exempting myself from bouts of bad behavior, but at least I KNOW when I’m out of line! Or, lucky for me, someone usually tells me.
It’s when Christians indulge in frequent bad behavior towards others without a single bit of remorse that baffle me. On the surface, they pretend to be gracious, guileless. helpful and industrious, but on the inside they are selfish minded, ambitious, opportunistic and cruel.
It’s idle gossip fueled by jealousy and self-loathing. It’s angry words and blatant disrespect of arguments instead of honest dialogue. It’s rumor mills disguised as prayer requests, prejudging other’s motives and actions and failing to give others the benefit of doubt.
Like I said, we’ve all been victims and perpetrators of all or at least some of the above, but I’m not talking about those that slip occasionally. I’m talking about those whom would have us believe what they are doing is right, or worse, righteous, that scare me. It’s bad behavior with a smile and an air of innocence.
It’s uncanny how they do it, but more incredulous is how they get away with it! These people wield their venom void of grace, humility or compassion - unrepentant they pull others along with them into their web of lies and hate. Unfortunately, they are so skilled at deception gracious and humble people end up on the defensive...when it should be the other way around!
It’s something Paul warned the early church to guard against and here we are today STILL getting caught with our guard down, leaving the church a virtual playground for the emotionally and socially deficient. Loyal, God fearing staff persons’ careers left in ruins, Once dedicated and fulfilled lay leaders leaving leadership positions in defeat or worse- leaving the church in disgust. It happens over and over and over.
And yet, in my heart I still hold out hope that once, just once, truth could prevail and I get to see just one troublemaker exposed and one victim restored.
And sometimes (when I am at my most forgiving) I pray in my altruistic fashion that if called out and admonished, those seeking to hurt others might repent of their sin and that I would graciously, not begrudgingly, forgive them.
That is where I struggle. How about you?