Call Me a Hypocrite? . . . Fine.

There exist people in this world with whom I don’t care to really converse.  There are some with whom I don’t want to play on the same team–I don’t want my name mentioned in the same breath as theirs.  And there are some whose decisions I lament and motivations I question.  I’m human.  I’m a work in progress.  I know God would rather me welcome everyone with grace and mercy and compassion, but honestly, I’m not there yet.  Like I said, I’m a work in progress.  There exist some individuals of which I have yet to warm up to.

Today, I was in conversation with a friend of mine over some such individuals and their decision-making practices.  We were frustrated.  We pondered aloud the possible outcomes of questionable leadership ethics and a seeming lack of personal accountability.  Our conversation bordered on griping, but only bordered.  It didn’t quite cross into that territory, but it was pretty close.

This conversation we had centered on some things that have been foremost in my mind for a couple weeks now and has taken up a good chunk of my prayers as well.  I’ve pondered and meditated and talked through many of the things she and I discussed today.  Through my time visiting with God about it all, I am confident that He knows what’s going on and has wisdom enough for us all, if we will only ask.  I am confident enough in my Saviour that I need not despair.

However, confidence in God’s plan doesn’t mean I’m absolved of action.

So, in visiting with my friend today, I bounced off ideas and thoughts and convictions in the safety of her friendship to gauge any involvement I might have with such aforementioned individuals of ill repute.

And not long after, I was given a face-to-face opportunity to engage a person with whom came up in conversation.  Figures, right?  So what did I do? I smiled, waved, and lobbed a bubbly greeting of course.  I was more than civil; I was downright friendly.

Call me a hypocrite?  Fine.

I’d like to call it the decent thing to do.

Why?  What was I supposed to do?  Run across the other side of the street and turn my back until they passed by?  Would it have been better to hurl an insult or chuck a rock?  Should I have stopped them, right then and there, and enlightened them about all my objections and doubts regarding their leadership and what I perceive to be a lack of integrity?  Because we all love being accosted in public by people who don’t care too much for us only to hear how wretched we are, right?  Yeah, I don’t think so.

The way I see it, just because I disagree with how someone arrives at the decisions they implement or the manner in which they “handle” others doesn’t mean they don’t deserve from me human decency and friendly gestures.  Just because I don’t plan on inviting them to join us on our family vacations or swapping holiday cards doesn’t mean I am thus required to stiff-arm them any time our personal spaces collide.  Just like me, they are human and deserve to be treated warmly.  There may come a time and a place that would be conducive to airing my feelings and observations, but on the city streets is neither.

There are more than enough people out there who act like the devil, treating others with contempt and disregard and rudeness simply because others don’t see things the way they do.  I don’t need to add my name to that long, ugly list.  Call it what you want, but I’ll take nice and friendly over rude and frigid any day.

I have a hard time with this one because I sometimes question people who treat me nicely but who I also know don’t really like me.  I know their “niceness” isn’t genuine.  At the same time, I give them credit for trying.  Because if I’m honest, I would rather not run into them at all.  But if our paths do happen to cross I much prefer them to say hello and smile than to brush past me as though I weren’t there or to say something snooty and mean.  Nice is better than nothing, right?  I don’t call them hypocritical.  I simply consider it an unfortunate situation.

I guess I just find it all unfortunate and I responded the best I could in the moment.  It’ll have to do because I certainly can’t do it over.  And you know what, if I could–do it over, that is–I’d probably do it all the same.

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