Monday, March 6, 2017

Getting Clear

Monday in the First Week of Lent

You plot ruin; your tongue is like a sharpened razor,
O worker of deception.
Psalm 52:2

For neither the first nor, I suspect, the last time this week, I rehearse the conversation in my head. It always starts out even handed. But by the second or maybe the third imagined exchange, my voice veers into a harsh critique.

I want to speak out. I think I need to speak out. I want to speak to what I perceive as an injustice to another person. I am convinced that I hold the higher ground.

But what keeps me from acting is the nagging feeling that I am not on the right track. How can I respect the dignity of one person by impugning the dignity of another? That can’t be right.

Respectful dialogue always go better when I give others the benefit of the doubt. When I assume that everyone is doing the best she can. I have experienced this time and again. And yet. And yet the Worker of Deception tells me otherwise, gives me smooth words to undermine the other from my position of perceived superiority. Even though I know that when I tear down another, a jagged edge is left behind in my own soul.

I do not pick up the phone. I do not draft an email. I am not ready. First I must confess my self-righteousness. First I must pray.

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