Friday, May 29, 2015

A Beautful, Powerful, Instructive Confession

A friend of mine once shared the following with me, and when I found it after all this time I immediately realized I wanted to share it here on my blog.  The highlighting and parenthetical comments are mine.  I hope it touches and teaches someone else like it did me when I first read it: 

I had a woman tell me I was an idiot. The entire mess landed all of us in the Bishop's office. It got kind of ugly. I think that's why tip-toeing happens. If I squeal or correct someone - I'm the one considered in the wrong - especially when it's a leader. We have this superiority / ranking system (in the Church sometimes), that covers for the "good" guy and discards the "bad" guy.

I've seen it with high councils, in Bishoprics, in wards (with who is "in" or considered "in"). It is another massive human failing. So it's not so much tip-toeing as deciding what course you want to take. 

In my case I had been arrogant. The woman who had a gripe was right. I didn't do anything blatantly wrong - like steal or hit, but I said somethings with an attitude that cut some people deep. But popularity was on my side. I was the Young Women President and beloved. Because of my image and calling I sort of out ranked her. Her comments were seen as undermining and so on. In the court of LDS appeal I was acquitted and sanctified. I really believed those judgements were true and that she was a woman with a jealous gripe. Then one day when the incident was far gone I witnessed another similar event - and suddenly as an outside observer I realized I had been just what she saw. Maybe I hadn't meant it, maybe she was overly sensitive - or maybe I was a jerk and idiot.

I don't to this day know how many people I have done similar things to over the years. I imagine more than I would like to count. I can be very zealous when I have a cause I believe in. I can be very animated, dramatic and effective. In those heady moments I am so self focused it's amazing. And if people like my energy and presentation they grant me miles of forgiveness - even are blind to my errors. They are on my side and it really helps in a war of hurt hearts. I've been there; I know. 


Daniel said...

i regret some of my past judgmental comments at church - definitely. Good post.

Anonymous said...

Lovely, instructive. I cringe when I think about my past behaviour at church, and am very grateful to my ward's patience. I now need to work on my humility within my family, repent and seek their forgiveness. To clarify, I've done nothing that would require church discipline, I've just been a self-righteous jerk. One life is not enough.