26 March 2007

mean

Here's some things I'm pondering in my heart. What causes people to be so mean? Or why do they feel free to act and respond and interact in such mean ways?

In my current class I stumbled as I read the following:
"When I finish with job, I'm going to write a book on this topic, "Why are Christians so mean?" quotes Dallas Willard in his book, Renovation of the Heart. He goes on to say, "Christians are routinely taught by example and by word that it is more important to be right than it is to be Christlike. In fact, being right licenses you to be mean, and requires you to be righteously mean. You must be hard on people who are wrong, and especially if they are in positions of Christian leadership.

A fundamental mistake of much of the western church is that it takes as its goal to get as many people as possible ready to die and go to heaven. It aims to get people into heaven rather than to get heaven into people...People are then ready to die but clearly not ready to live."

I stumbled and choked a bit as I read because I see reflections of this statements steeped deep within my life. I'm recalling countless conversations (many within my family) where the need to be right trumps all else. I'd like to blame this on something other than my own choice, and there may be evidence to suggest it is a part of the dna of the denomination I'm part of, but the truth is, it still comes down to choice.

And so I'm settled here for the now, wondering how to live differently, wondering how to think differently (even if my tho'ts have been subconsious), wondering how to be Christlike even when others (or circumstances) may see wrong.

Can anyone relate? (always loving company for the Holy Spirit's convictions...)

6 comments:

Lynn Setsma said...

How wonderful of you to share your thoughts with us. What a good reminder. It is true that we can be very mean. I do need to read Dallas Willard. Dave has the Divine Conspiracy - I guess I should read it. We need to get together to talk about your journey.

Much love to you, dear friend.
Lynn

Anonymous said...

i think we are mean, because it is easier to be mean than to invite real change and repentance.

at least, that is why I am so mean.


karla

cindy said...

being mean is like wearning a mask. we hope it throws attention toward someone else's faults rather than addressing the sin that lives within us.

cindy said...

hmmm...that wasn't a complete thought. i meant to say that it will throw attention toward someone else's faults and disguise the sin that lives within us.

Gilly said...

You're right Diana - at times we are mean and Karla is so right in her comment, however, the very fact that you ponder these things so deeply only shows me again that their is clearly something heavenly being created within in you. Be encouraged!!
I love and miss you, dear friend.
Gilly

Gracie said...

Hi Lynnie...don't read divine conspiracy. it's too much. i'll lend you a different one... really! but definitely let's get together. I'm imagining a night on your porch. with fake wine for me :-)

karla and cindy, i wonder if you're talking about the same thing, in that being mean sometimes is a cover up for what we really think or feel. which is one way of avoiding change...

gilly!! i love that u're commenting. and i hope that God is changing me. my classes are helping.