I read an article just the other day by a well-known Christian artist who I highly respect. I have benefited from his work, and have really been inspired by his willingness to be a renegade for God. But – and isn’t there always a “but” – this blog post I read was of him diminishing the ministry of another group that he had a bone to pick with.
And I thought, this pettiness doesn’t become you. When we stop to publicly attack our critics or our competition, or almost anyone else for that matter, we’re the one who ends up looking small. Taking the high road isn’t just a good thing; it’s a God thing. It’s how Jesus taught us to respond in the marketplace of ideas. Actually, if you take the teachings of Jesus seriously (and we Christians do) we don’t have the right to attack each other publicly. There’s a process for confrontation privately that leads to redemption and reconciliation.
When I read the pettiness of the people I admire, I don’t get mad; I just become afraid that I too could stumble into this pattern. Yes, we all have enough people who have come against us, opposed us, or (worse than both of those) ignored us, that we’d love to take a slice out of in public. I do. But I realize, each and every time, the commitments I have in the art that I create: is it helpful, is it hopeful, does it heal, and – oh yeah – is it true?