A dude I haven’t seen for a really long time got on the same train I was on this morning. He sat beside me and we chatted. He is going through some difficult times, like many of us seem to be at the moment. I spoke about my most recent life “challenge”, knowing that he had been through a similar experience just a couple of years back. We were altogether validated and encouraged by each other’s experiences.
Both of us being Christians, and also in the line of work some might consider “ministry”, we got on the topic of how many Christians have responded to our challenges, and our decisions that revolve around them. I expressed that I felt more unconditional support from non-Christians than I did from Christians. That is a blanket statement, I know! And I have indeed received quality support from certain Christian friends and family. But as a whole, if I take all my friends and family who do not consider themselves Christians in one hand, and those who consider themselves Christians in the other, the non-Christian hand as a whole has responded in a far more nonjudgmental and supportive way.
Many Christians feel it is their duty to tell you this or that based on judgements they have formulated form a mixture of the snap shot they have from your experience and bible verses (or teachings they have heard); verses that often get used out of context to their original audience and meaning. My dude was telling me how this really bothers him. He says he really gets brought down by Christians like that who have treated him that way during the most difficult time of his life. I told him something, that I maybe didn’t even realised I believe until I said it. I told him, “Accountability is good. But Accountability is not someone popping in to your life tell you what they perceive you are doing wrong and popping back out again.” He agreed. I followed it up, “And honestly, unless that person is willing to walk along side me and really work through the crap I am going through, with me…then I am not really interested in what they have to say or how they perceive me. But if they will walk it through with me, they can say whatever they want, because they earn the right to do so.”
Dude seemed to like the idea of that, though he appeared slightly uncomfortable with me using the word “crap”, which I found funny, realizing I had indeed toned it down, for his sake, by using that word. And then he said something that struck me funny. He said, “Yeah! Well, we will see who was right and who was wrong one day in heaven!” Really? I didn’t agree with him. I don’t think it’s about who is right and who is wrong, and I think there are often more shades of grey than black and white, right and wrong. “We are all wrong. And that’s the problem, because we all think we are right. But we are all wrong in one way or another. I think we will see that,” I said. My words seemed to hit him in a way that was both refreshing and uncomfortable.
But I really think that sums it up: we are all striving to BE right, and to prove that “we” are right and “they” are wrong. I think many Christians fall into this ideological trap. But especially for christians it is totally absurd. I mean, if we take the verse serious that there are none without sin, no not one, and that we all daily make mistakes and the only “right” one is God, then it is totally ridiculous how much time is spent trying to BE right, and prove others wrong. What if we were more concerned about looking inward and living in ways that are right for us, LIVING right, and not trying to prove anything about anyone else? I think that would be cool. I want to try that.
Sorry if this blog is slightly cryptic or whiny or vague, or all of the above.