Friday, November 22, 2013

When defensiveness devolves into offensiveness

Of late, I've committed to not challenging folks on the internet. First, and most importantly, I'mnot doing it because the human mind is a hard-wired cage. Folks are not gonna change their minds. Even Christians, who really should not be so in love with their opinions and their self-ing (yeah, i just invented that word) seem to forget all the admonitions about loving to debate or esteeming others more than ourselves.

I have a couple friends who are in love with their denominations. I really do take the verse about not being "of apollos or of paul or of Cephas" seriously. St Paul said if folks argue or praise their own little sub-sets they are not truly spiritual. They are still carnal. But these folks not only love their denominations, they get incredibly defensive about it...even when no one has really gone on the offense against them. Basically, they're always in a kind of seige mentality. They often have stuff to post that brings up some issue no one else is even thinking about. They post stuff so often that they just irk folks by putting folks on the defensive.

I have one friend who is childless who writes so many posts about how horrible the christian world is about childlessness that any compassion I have about her plight is fast dwindling. I actually find myself wanting to challenge her because in some weird way she is egging folks on (without quite knowing it) and she is simply causing folks to dislike her POV. On Mother's day, she never once -- NEVER ONCE-- said a thank you post to her own mother. She was so bitter and hurt about what other Christians have said about her childlessness that she spent the entire day saying how blessed she was not to have been a mother. Okay, she does this all the time...but could she not for one day "refrained" and forbare pulling down other folks' joy?

That's where the issue of how am I to respond enters the picture. I seem to feel I was born to respond to people who are totally wrong AND proud AND deluded. It's the trifecta that sounds "attack" to my ears. Apparently I can deal with someone who is wrong by ignoring them but when someone is wrong and proud and deluded about his/her own need to "speak" I am tempted to rebuke. So then, what to do when the person is wrong and proud and deluded and hurt? Ay me! And what to do when the person is wrong and proud and deluded and hurt and hurting my feelings? Ayyyyyyyyyyy me!

Yep, life is a beyotch! And the Christian walk of perservering is a total bitch.

I understand that others are tolerating me. So it's only fair tht I tolerate others.
I understand that defensiveness devolves into offensiveness if the defensive person has so reached a level of pain or supposed pain that they just can't help but spew out their defensive hurtful comments.

Hey, lately, Oprah said something that sounded sooo racist. And all I could think was, "Seriously, woman, when was the last time anyone treated you like a 'poor' Black woman?" But obviously, the pain and the memory is still there.

I wanted to say to the Catholic poster, "Ah puhleze, cut the crap! Do you know how many times Catholics have treated me like crap and said nasty things out of the blue to me because I'm not Catholic? And stop saying you're the first church. And that you were built on St Peter. The first church was Jewish and it was St Paul who was given the anointing to speak to the Gentiles. St Peter was the apostle of the Jews. And the rock the church was built on was the word of God, not a human named Peter. And the second church was Greek Orthodox. And, most importantly, Catholics have done their share of cruelty to other folks...even now." Ah, but I digress. (I didn't challenge her because I really am not good at listening to folks indoctrinated in their supposed pain.)

Okay, so once again am thinking of the whole turning the other cheek thing. The momentum of the original hurt has to stop. Christian physics. The velocity, the momentum, the cycle of defensiveness and offensiveness must be stopped. When someone is totally caught up in their pain and utterly unable to see their own wrong, it might be best to just say nothing. Even if one feels and knows the defensive person is utterly wrong. Because the human mind is hard to convince...especially if it thinks it's hurt. The human ego holds painfully, shamelessly, unerringly to its own opinion.  

I am trying to be loving. I'm trying to have a loving heart. But wow, dealing with defensiveness is hard because I want to defend myself against the hurt their defensiveness causes me. What to do? As a Christian, why should I suck it up...when the other Christian isn't sucking it up at all? What is the fine line between defending the "self" and allowing the "self" to be walked over?

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