what if we didn’t let them have it?

Our most recent post contained a singular line I’d like to address further today in a little more detail.

I speak not of the need to “assume a humble posture.”

I speak not either of being “lured into believing life is a series of binary choices.”

Today’s post centers around something arguably more practical and blunt…

“You let someone ‘deserving’ finally have it?”

With all due respect to the wisdom shared by brilliant authors Henry Cloud and John Townsend in the NY Times bestseller, Boundaries — recognizing that healthy boundaries are necessary, being aware of our own limitations — what if we chose to never let the “deserving” have it? 

To be clear, the “deserving” are those I have deemed as such. Not me alone, of course. I have an inner circle of likeminded thinkers who will affirm my humble/semi-humble/possibly-humble conclusion that another has warranted my judgment. I typically start like this…

“I’ve had it…”

“I just have to say…”

“I can’t take it anymore…”

“I’m at my breaking point…”

“I refuse to entertain any other opinion…”

And with that, we blow. We let them have it.

So play with me for a moment; what if we didn’t? What if we didn’t let another have it?

Recognizing that passions run high — and our passions are valid, mind you — still, I repeat, what if we chose not to let another have it?

Crazy. I know… “You don’t understand… They are wrong! They are dangerous! They don’t know what they don’t know!”

And just like that, we assume we actually know what we don’t know.

Friends, I keep coming to the conclusion that when we’re shouting at another — no matter the venue — it’s not going to make anyone want to be more like us. It reminds me, in fact, of good ole’ Brother Max…

Each spring and fall on the warmer, sunny mornings, Brother Max used to bless us with his presence on our midwestern college campus. We students would stroll by the worn paths, semi-awake for the day’s slate of classes, and if we were fortunate (or unfortunate) enough to walk toward Stewart Center, we were greeted by Max screaming at us. He was a man in his late 50’s — typically donning a tie, hat, and sunglasses. And God bless him; while I’d like to believe that somewhere in there he had a solid faith, he was trying to influence us to have a solid faith, too — by screaming at us. And while understanding what’s true and not about being a Jesus follower has become the primary devotion of my life, I can remember concluding from Max’s confrontational style that I didn’t want to be like him; I didn’t even want to think like him. The screaming and shaming simply wasn’t effective. He was more the center of our mockery as opposed to any kind of role model.

And so I ask again, what if we intentionally chose not to ever let another have it? 

What would happen? What would be different?

What if, in fact, in place of the screaming and shaming, we offered grace instead?

Grace… favor toward the unworthy… a kindness given to the undeserved…

… the undeserved…

Amazing, isn’t it?



One Reply to “what if we didn’t let them have it?”

  1. Wow – this one really spoke to me. Beautifully written and thought provoking.

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