I love my kid. I tell her that every day and do my best to demonstrate as much… though I’m not sure just how much is comprehended yet by her little mind.
I’m sure there are times, though, that if she could form the words or comprehend what they mean, she would express the thought that I am a jerk.
Sometimes I let her stay in a place of frustration. Sometimes, I let her cry a bit before rescuing her from the thing she’s crying about. Sometimes I know exactly what her problem is and how to make her happy but wait to act.
But, at least in the philosophy and praxis of parenting Sarah and I are developing, there are times when even at this stage there are teachable moments or developmental progressions taking place and letting Jubilee work some things out on her own is healthy and okay. We’re not expecting advanced problem solving from her, but allowing her to figure out how to roll over involves some level of frustration at being stuck on her tummy.
In a new church (and established ones, too), there are moments when the organism of the local church or the individuals we’re given stewardship of need to be allowed to work some things out on their own–there are teachable moments and developmental opportunities that would be stifled by too swift a rescue or intervention.
I’m sure there are times when the local church or her individuals think those in leadership are just big jerks when, in fact, the most loving, shepherding thing to do is hold themselves back and wait to jump in…even though their instinct, desire, and passion would dictate otherwise.
So, to those of us jerks out there: are we hearing and heeding the voice of the Spirit in our interaction, or being lazy? In other words, are we carrying the appearance of a meanie, or are we *actually* a jerk?
To those of us who are under some form of authority: it would be good for us to remember that sometimes a different perspective is at play, and the very person we think is a tremendous jerk could actually be acting out of care for us.