My friend David K. posted a good blog on his pastoralponderings. see side bar. He writes about real life as a pastor. He is honest. A straight shooter. In my view he does a lot of things right and is a great leader of leaders. He is consistent. He understands he is the responsible one who can create a positive environment with his staff. He prasies people openly, and corrects in private, He is consistent emotionally.
Yet, in this post he is honest, at times he exudes the attitude of a Jerk… as I do. I argee with him… this year I hope to be kinder, less jerky, yet speak the truth in love.
This is my last blog for 2009. I have been distracted and not as faithful in updating my blog. Hopefully, I will do better in 2010. This blog today is about a resolution that I have already made for 2010!
One of the many things that one encounters in ministry are those that make personal insults towards you or your family. I am talking about people that take cheap shots, make hurtful comments, demean, belittle, chastise, and say and do other caustic things directed at you.
I call them Jerks! Dictionary definition- ‘an annoyingly stupid or foolish person; an unlikable person; especially: one who is cruel, rude, or small-minded.’
There are other ways to describe them as you will see from the next paragraph. But, I prefer to be civil in this blog and ‘jerk’ will suffice. Of course, we all can put names to the word ‘jerk.’
And what is worse, are those times when I have been a ‘jerk!’ Yes, I confess that there have been times when I have been a ‘class A jerk!’ I plan to change that in 2010.
As I was studying and meditating on this issue; I came across a book by Robert Sutton entitled, The No ******* Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn’t. (Yes, it really does say that in the title; I edited it here for the sensitive and in an effort not to offend). It’s called the definitive guide to understanding, counteracting, and not becoming an ******. Obviously the workplace is a prime place for this type of person. But, it is not exclusive to it as we all have seen our fair share in the church and among its leadership.
Sutton has a dirty-dozen list of everyday ‘jerk’ actions:
1. Personal insults
2. Invading one’s personal territory
3. Uninvited personal contact
4. Threats and intimidation, both verbal and non-verbal
5. Sarcastic jokes and teasing used as insult delivery systems
6. Withering email flames
7. Status slaps intended to humiliate their victims
8. Public shaming or status degradation rituals
9. Rude interruptions
10. Two-faced attacks
11. Dirty looks
12. Treating people as if they are invisible
I am sure that you can identify with some of these or maybe all of them. We all have seen them and experienced them.
In his book, Sutton tells you how to avoid a jerk and how not to become one yourself. On his blog he tells of a church Sunday class that even used his book! That’s bold!!!!
Obviously, the Bible tells us how to live with and respond to jerks. “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;…” Matt 5:44 KJV (there are many other references in the Bible).
I heard Loren Cunningham, founder of YWAM, answer a question last night about all the criticism and attempted character assassinations directed at him over his lifetime, ‘How did he survive and stay full of joy?’ He said he forgave them all. Therein lays the key on how to deal with jerks! Don’t respond to them, forgive them!
If I have been a ‘jerk’ to you, please forgive me and pray that I will, by God’s grace, change and refrain from being one in the future.
Does anyone want to join me in the pursuit of this New Year’s Resolution?
David I join…