Monday, April 2, 2012

Saying It Like It Is

"He says it like it is." This can be a compliment or a cursing criticism, depending on the person saying these words. People like Mark Driscoll get praise for their no-holds-barred approach to confrontation. They also get criticized for being rude and wrong in their content.

When it comes to Driscoll, I tend to be the latter camp. Yet when some ethical issues have come up at work lately, I found myself being praised by others for "saying it like it is." And criticized by others for not being serene.

I found myself questioning my actions and wondering what the right approach was. Was Jesus outspoken and angry? Or was he a pacifist? Ultimately, he was both. There are a couple of excerpts from John Eldredge's books that I think really summarize these issues quite nicely.

However, I find it interesting how people really struggle with finding a balance of both. Where I am currently is that the ideal is to be calm, serene, and cooperative. This encourages cooperation, collaboration, and growth within an institution. It also can encourage people to feel safe to grow and face their own challenges.

Yet when that no longer works and major problems continue to manifest, I believe being feistier is warranted. Sometimes we need to stand up for our rights, the rights of others, and right conduct. That means we need to fight at times. There are, of course, better and worse ways to fight, but at times, fight we must.

The problems occur when we stay in one extreme all the time, regardless of circumstances. This creates a lack of a change (with complete serenity) or unsafe, instable environments (with constant condemnation).

What do you think? Is there a balance? Is there a time to say it like it is? What does that even mean?

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