Difficult Advice

16 Aug

“If ever a fool utters all kinds of insults against you, the best bet is to not respond at all.”  ~ Miguel Angel Saez Gutierrez

Sometimes, the most sage advice in the world is the most difficult to accept.  It seems that someone has decided to assail our Parish Facebook page.  We are relatively certain that the profile is a fake profile as the name does not sound familiar to any of us.  He has randomly posted against me, the principal, the school, et cetera.  Much of what he says indicates that he is on the outside as his “information” is not even correct.

The problem with people like that is they agitate others.  Several parishioners and parents have contacted us upset with what is being posted.  Some have suggested that we engage with the person and refute what he is saying.  WRONG.  The best advice is to follow Miguel Angel Saez Gutierrez’ advice and not respond at all.  Because, as soon as your respond, you give a person even more fodder to remain on the offensive.

Perhaps the only response that makes sense from a Christian perspective is to love and forgive.  It is pretty obvious to us that the person writing has an ax to grind and wants to be as oppositional as possible.  Sadly, this kind of personal attack is on the rise in today’s society.  We seem to be losing the fine art of discourse.  In today’s world, if we disagree with someone, it is all right to destroy them.

However, if we disagree with someone, we need to try to listen and understand.  True, we also need to mitigate the damage that the person is doing; however, we can also try to reach out with a loving and forgiving heart.

I often wondered how the apostles dealt with opposition.  They were counter-cultural, going against many tenets of their culture and following an outcast and outlaw: Jesus Christ.  I’m sure they didn’t like being called dumb, smelly fishermen.  I’m sure they didn’t like being ridiculed and heckled.  I’m sure they didn’t like the challenge that Jesus gave them to love and forgive.  Nonetheless, that is what they strove to do.

And that is what I am trying to do as well.  I encourage you to do the same when you meet those who hate you.

FAITH ACTION:  Love your enemies, pray for your persecutors.