I did it. I typed “untie” instead of “unite,” just as I knew I would.
Kate asks us to ponder this deep word tonight.
Arrogance is the enemy of unity.
There’s no such thing as simple disagreement anymore. So often discussions dissolve into grudge-matches, winner take all. Sycophants take the place of friends. The teeming, scraping diversity of life is replaced with an echo chamber. We surround ourselves with others who are too afraid to challenge, too afraid to question.
Too afraid to be themselves.
Pride clouds our vision. We fail to see our own shortcomings. We hone in on the insecurity of those around us. We pick, we prod, we poke. We tear down.
We think we’re smarter than we really are.
I am fearful tonight. Or perhaps weary and wary are better words. In this age of “tolerance” it becomes ever-more acceptable to be blatantly intolerant. Everything is an argument. Politics. Church. Medical treatment. Women’s issues. No acknowledgement that expertise is real and we don’t all have it in every single area. Refusal to accept that there really are things that people can differ on and it’s okay. Fewer and fewer seem to be able to say, “I think you’re completely wrong on this, but I respect and love you still.”
No. Instead it is, “Fine. You don’t agree with me? You’re a moron and I won’t listen to a thing you have to say.”
Lack of a teachable spirit.
In the world: Christians today turn away from doctors in favor of barely-concealed foreign spirituality, attempting to blend the gobbledygook with our faith. We cling to leaders that appeal to base prejudices and fears. Our divorce rate soars.
In the house: We look down our noses at the congregation down the street. We complain when the service is too long. We whine when the babies cry during prayer time.
I wonder where we are headed, those of us who claim to follow Christ. Too often we embrace the attitude of the world. We leave our brothers and sisters behind over silly things, in search of “better.” We tune out our pastors. We gobble up books and articles that soothe our itching ears instead of challenging us to think and struggle.
There are mountains to die on, but we aren’t dying on them.
We’re slitting our wrists over molehills.
The work of repentance isn’t easy. To fall to our knees before the throne and confess that we have been stubborn, hard-headed and sometimes flat nasty is humbling. To admit that we do not, in fact, know it all takes a mind broken of its self-importance. To accept God’s correction, in whatever form it comes, takes a shattered heart.
To be a Christian is to be teachable. It is to know that we are not the be-all, end-all fount of knowledge and wisdom. It is to know that at any time we can be proven wrong.
To be a Christian is to embrace the unity of diversity.
My apologies for the disconnected nature of this post. It’s difficult for me to express what I’m thinking. I see pride increasing everywhere I turn and the people of God are not immune. We must become aware of this. Our pride keeps us from each other and it keeps us from the Lord. If we are not willing to learn from and be corrected by each other, how will we ever be willing to learn from and be corrected by Him?
God, make me sensitive. Give me eyes that are wide open to my faults and failures. Give me ears to hear the ignorance that flows from my mouth. Grace me with the ability to submit to the wisdom and leadership of others. Grant me wisdom to know when to stand my ground. Above all, Lord God, make me teachable.
Break my legs if You have to, but make me humble.