Perhaps the greatest irony of this quote is that it is credited to a man who fancied himself a comedian of sorts. Not very funny stuff. The thought demonstrates both the desire that we possess to be thought of as thinkers coupled with the more difficult side of thinking that brings the hard work. Recently I talked to a man who for my entire life has and continues to help form and inform the way that I see faith. In our discussion he basically highlighted the same truth… when you write… you expose yourself to people’s harshest criticisms. I suppose it is also why the Bible warns those who teach spiritual content to walk circumspectly. With this extra amount of responsibility comes an extra dose of danger. So, my father asked me, “Are you sure you want to do this?”
I don’t remember my exact words back to him, but they went something like this… It’s not about “want to”. It’s about “have to”. I know that not every one who can write should write. And not everyone who can think should write. The truth is that I write the way I do because many other brave women and men that I have read dared to do so. My love for reading has spawned in me a love for words. I understand the warning given in the book of James that out of the same mouth can come both amazingly empowering as well as irreparably damaging speech. And that’s the crux of it. I must challenge my friends and contemporaries and those I have served and those who have taught me well.
It is highly likely that our time here on earth is limited. I know the Scriptures say that “some will not see death”, but let’s be equally honest, the majority of us will. I have always been the guy who liked to be liked… I still am. At the risk of sounding callous though, I am willing to risk my greatest fear (not being liked or worse) in order to get us to rethink what being Christian really means. Is there a danger here? As I see it, yes. The greatest danger is that we do nothing… that we refuse to rethink our positions or stances or at least, the ways in which we present them. We may come out the other end with mere tweaks, but in the rethinking and learning to hear someone else’s perspective… there is high value. So, the greatest danger in rethinking… is not doing it.