I have no witty title for this post. It’s just not funny at all.
My heart is heavily sad recently.
I have lost a lot of respect for an old friend.
And I get it- who am I that anyone should care to have my respect in the first place?
Let me try to describe what I have seen from my point of view. Note that I have not been directly involved in this situation. I’m going to refer to my friend as “Z.”
Z posted a link about a certain political issue and included his personal take on it, calling his position “good” and the opposition “evil.” He made a statement that he believes that people have a right to be happy.
Then follows comments and “likes” from Z’s Facebook people.
And Z’s reactions both to those who agreed with him and those who disagreed with him are what caused my disappointment in him.
I got to know Z over a course of years over a decade ago. We got along well. He’s very intelligent and very talented. He helped out when one of us needed a ride. I had good respect for him in those days.
Reconnecting by Facebook, my respect for his talent increased. He seems to be doing well and I wouldn’t have expected any less from him.
After reading Z’s comments following the link post, and a following status update of his, I would be a bit embarrassed to be associated with him. I know him to be intelligent and respectful, yet he was none of those things in his argument.
For someone who is for… people’s freedoms to express themselves and not be judged for it, Z came off as very judgmental, argued with non sequitur, used false arguments. He was demeaning to the person who disagreed. He congratulated those who agreed with him. He was very elitist. He used inflammatory words.
Was the disagreeing person right? I don’t know. I think he had a few good points but was not arguing them well, which makes them not good points. And he had some that were actually bad points. Was he disrespectful? I think he was trying not to be but in the end he became so.
However, this isn’t about the argument. It’s not about the disagreeing person.
Whether I agreed or not with Z, I would still come away sadly about his behavior.
I’m just shocked and disappointed. It didn’t sound like the Z I knew.
I’m sharing my heavy heart here instead of directly to him because… well, I am a wimp when it comes to certain things. I don’t like arguing; I would make a terrible debater. It also seems that Z and I would disagree on many beliefs, and I value his friendship more than to argue over “rightness.” In other words, I disagree with him but I don’t need him to be convinced that I’m right OR wrong. Time and distance- I don’t need him to turn against me over the internet and I don’t see him all the time.
Z did say that he knows some Christians who do “love thy neighbor” as he said [and as right we Christians ought to be doing]. I hope he counts me as one of those, at least towards himself.
If he comes across this and he becomes disappointed in me, well…. I wouldn’t know what to say about that except that it would cause me more sadness.
And really, Z’s not the only one with whom I would have many disagreements. I repeat, it’s not the disagreements that have me sad. It’s the disrespectfulness being thrown around [admittedly, from both sides] and the general lack of graciousness towards one another.
So, for the Christians: let’s keep doing what we do in a way that is pleasing to the Lord, never forgetting to lead with love and respect for others. Let’s choose our battles wisely and keep the fights in the appropriate arenas.
Let us pray for others, those we love, those who are at moments unlovable, and those who would see themselves as our enemies.
Let us have grace towards each other when we make mistakes while disciplining each other with love and encouragement to do better.
For any not-yet-Christians reading this: I love you, I do. Please forgive me of my offenses towards you, knowingly and unknowingly.
More significantly, God loves you.
Thank you for reading.