Monday, March 20, 2006

Dismissed

When you are dismissed, you go away

Two mobsters:
“Hey, things with Joey ‘aint workin’ out”
“Whattya wanna do?”
“Joey should go away”

Interesting, the meaning of “go away” means murder, and in scripture the idea of hating someone is the same as murdering them.

In each case we simply wish the person did not exist anymore.

We do this all the time in our lives in the most casual way without realizing it – we dismiss people from our life, from our presence because we do not like them.

We want community.

But in the midst of our gatherings we constantly commit murder – we dismiss and send away. You cannot build community with multiple murders in your midst.

Just look at the words

To negate
set aside
void
abolish
dismiss

Ughhhh, such ugly words, they make me sad inside.

To love is to do the opposite, and to love well means to be vigilant to your own heart to see when you have so casually not loved.

Did you judge someone by their appearance and dismiss them?

Did you say no to the possibility of someone being promoted or accepted into a position and then after that, felt awkward around them and so avoided them?

Did you judge someone by their “inappropriateness” in a social situation, and decide you only allow yourself to be in the presence of those with advanced levels of social intelligence?

The life of faith, the life of love, is one in which we are vigilant over our behavior in these kind of scenario's to see and notice when we are dismissing others. Then to examine our hearts to see why we did it, and then to repent and ask God for the power to change, and then to work hard with his grace to permanently change such behavior. To associate with the lowly means those that you judge as below you.

That is the personal level, then there's the organizational level where power amplifies the effects. The use of power to dismiss within organizations is doubly evil because it allows you to make your dismissal more than private, but public. It causes it to be followed by others who follow you as their leader.

The way I have most often seen this take place in church or parachurch organizations, is when someone has been considered for a leadership position and then for whatever reason rejected, and often the “rejecters” feel kind of bad and so they tend to ignore the person after that. That persons presence makes them feel guilty or something, or maybe they just didn’t like the person to begin with, and so that person is not as welcomed and supported as others might be.

Often the negative effects of dismissing someone are not so much things you do against them, but rather things that you don’t do for them that you would have otherwise.

Whenever someone approaches any organization of any kind, church or secular, they need relationships within that organization that will open doors for them and usher them forward. The problem that the dismissed person has is that now doors that would have been opened for them had they been accepted, are not opened.

Once you “set them aside” they can be effectively shut down for life within that organization. That is power.

When you have the power to open doors for someone, or to close the door on them and set them aside, it is the way of Christ that you use that power very carefully and with the fear of God.

Do you know the person? Do you love them?

Are you really sure they couldn’t be accepted and helped along?

Is there something else you can steer them toward so they will be accepted rather than rejected?

If you reject them, make sure you follow that with an unusually high level of love and acceptance, and set them up to be accepted by others, and find a way to build into their life until they are ready to be accepted for that or another position.

Our church policy:
#1: Never make a decision about someone’s life who you do not know and love.
#2: We say yes. If you are a leader that has to make decisions about accepting people into new leadership positions, you almost always say yes. In the super rare case have to say no to accepting someone into a leadership position, you are automatically given the responsibility to mentor them until they can be accepted. Saying no actually requires more work, so we are more likely to say yes.

Now let’s look at the lovely words:

to accept
approve
validate
support
affirm
welcome

You can love poorly or you can love well.

1 comment:

Debbie said...

I'd like to "love well" even better I'd like to love excellently,like Jesus
Nice post

Be Blessed