June 7th, 2005

This entry concerns a conflict with a church member who was creating serious relational turmoil in many different places around the church and for whom (to some extent) I was responsible for.

After processing my motives (see the last entry) I engaged him and I got nuked for it. The nuking came in the form of multiple, vicious e-mails to me and to my leaders. My wife, who is a trained conflict conciliator, began to intervene.

This thing with X is simply eating my lunch. Brenda had advised me NOT to look at any e-mails from X as she tries to set-up a conciliation…but I looked anyway. It was about what I expected: He continues to auger in…”it’s all Dan’s fault”. And disturbingly, it’s being presented to him as a “simple” conflict between friends. He had said something about, “Dan thinks he knows me, but it’s all a misperception…” or words to that effect. Brenda’s response was something like, “Yes…I’m sure you both have misperceptions about each other…”

This is exactly the kind of thing that enrages me…that makes me feel like another one of his victims. I’m lumped into this big amorphous blob of people who “misperceive” X. Poor, mis-understood X. (insert the dinner party scene from “Cable Guy: and cast me as Matthew Broderick’s character)

But the truth is: He’s a terribly hurt and disturbed individual who has almost no tools for creating healthy change in his life, and has been systematically victimizing people in an effort to deal with his pain. THAT’S what’s going on.

This is X’s conflict with a reality of his own making, and I just happen to be the guy in the front ranks.

Everything I wrote in my last entry is true…it’s not that I am without fault in how things are going. It’s that I didn’t start it. I feel like a cop who arrests a child molester, and now, because I didn’t read him his rights, all the attention is diverted from him to me.

I guess I’ve got to have a heart that is more concerned with healing the molester, and getting him BACK INTO SOCIETY than with simple justice. But right now, it’s hard to see that when the molester is blaming me and all his victims for the current state of affairs, and the only topic on his mind is how things affect him.

Bottom line, God: I need a soft heart. I need a bigger heart. I am selfish, judgmental, and hypocritical – and God (wait…not the bottom line yet) I resent you God.

I’m resenting the fact that you’re using X to touch stuff in me. It’s a lot easier to talk about 1Timothy 1:15-17 when I am the “worst of sinners” exhibiting God’s power to teach someone else a lesson. It’s not so pleasant when I’m the one being taught.

I prefer the role of underdog. I don’t want to be the “establishment” who must be taught a lesson.

I don’t want to be humbled.

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