[first published June 29, 2020]
Once, when I was in my mid-twenties, I tried to publicly shame one of the elders of my church. At the time, I thought I was successful: I really put that guy in his place!
Decades passed. Older, and slightly wiser, I myself served as an elder. This time, I watched another young man do what I had done. He resented that the church leadership had “failed” to honor him. So he wrote us an email, slamming us for our bad decision. But there’s more…. He also sent the email to a couple dozen other church members. Did his email convince us that we should have honored him in the first place? Of course not! Rather, it confirmed our earlier judgment. He wasn’t ready for honor. [Let’s hope by now he IS ready]
Back to the action of stupid young Bradley…. When I look back now on that episode in my twenties, it’s clear that what I perceived then as a “success” was one of my worst-ever failures. What irony!
Note: I wrote this after watching a young lady eviscerate a church elder on Facebook. In my opinion, he didn’t deserve her rebuke AT ALL. She had used the word “irony,” so I picked up on that word and used it in hopes that she would read MY post and remember what she had said.