Saying What the Others Won’t

by Kevin on September 9, 2014

I was at a rodeo one time and watched a couple of people walking along and having a good time. They were visiting and laughter could be heard in between the announcer calling out team roping times and who was up next. What could go wrong in this situation? How could such a peaceful day be shattered and laughter turned to tears?

There are many sights and sounds at a rodeo. There are booths set up and selling the latest beer and snuff apparel. There are food vendors at rodeos that you can’t find anywhere else. Where you gonna find deep fried butter and funnel cakes outside of a rodeo or fair? Chances are, there’s a good reason. That stuff is tasty, but it don’t take a genius to figure out that some of them things might get your innards in a knot. With so many distractions, it didn’t come as all that big a shock when I saw these two people, more than likely gussied up city folk, walk right behind a tied up horse.

They didn’t do anything wrong and I’m sure that whatever cowboy or cowgirl tied the horse up right there wouldn’t have tied up a horse that was prone to kicking. Something out of the ordinary happened, but the final effect was a person that got the entire living snot kicked out of them.

Was it because they didn’t know any better? Possibly….

Was it because they were trying to get hurt? I hope not…

Was it because they weren’t paying attention? Likely…

And that’s what happened to me. I got the snot kicked out of me. I was walking along, not paying attention, loving and living life to the fullest. Nothing was wrong and as a matter of fact, things are actually great. But you see, that’s when things get you.

Now it wasn’t a hoof that got me…it was a stark realization. Now that I look back, I could see it all along, but I chose to ignore it…better yet, even worse, I excused it.

What was the realization? What woke me up at 3:30 in the morning, dragged me out of bed, whipped my ass, kicked me in the teeth, and then spit on me?

I’m a very prideful person.

I don’t think myself better than anyone. I don’t walk around bragging about my accomplishments. I’m not a glory hound and I don’t have a big head. I don’t think that I’m always right and I am quick to say I’m sorry and mean it.

That doesn’t sound prideful does it? That’s what I kept telling myself.

But here’s the thing: Pride is easily offended and insulted.

You see, I care what people think. Oh sure, I’ve heard other people say, “I don’t give a crap what anyone thinks.” But you know what? Those people don’t share things with others that are deeply important to them. They hide safely behind their erected wall of security, never daring to lower the drawbridge and walk out into the scary realm of making a difference.

The few that have, no wonder they quit and run back inside. The second you open yourself up and try to love on people, you open yourself up to criticism. You see, the people that don’t care what anyone thinks are the very ones that sit behind their stone walls and hurl insults and criticisms. And when they hit you, it hurts.

I get blasted all the time for the things I say. I am black and blue from criticism and controversy. I have people work twice as hard at reading something into something that I didn’t say…and then yell at me for it.

I want to ask them sometimes, “What are you doing to make a difference? Show me where you have walked out and bared your soul for the world to see. How would you like it if I walked behind you and used my ‘spiritual gift’ of criticism on anything you did that I would not have done or said?”

If I didn’t love people, then I wouldn’t care what they thought or said. It hurts because I do care.

All of this really sucks and I’m here to tell you that if you are a difference maker; if you are a peacemaker instead of a peacekeeper; if you are one of the courageous; you will get stones thrown at you. It’s not fair. It’s not kind. It’s not easy. And it definitely isn’t encouraging.

Did you see how prideful I was just being? Were you able to spot it?

The only part of you that an insult or criticism can hit is your pride. Your pride is as tender as the tip of your tongue. It has more feelings built into it than your fingertips. If it were an organ or bone, it would be the largest one in your body.

Pride is the embodiment of all of our fears. It is an open nerve that begs to be hurt. Pride finds insults and criticisms like a magnet finds metal.

Jesus was spit on, beaten, and nailed to a cross. What did he say about it?

“Father, forgive them. They know not what they do.”

That is not weakness. That is the strongest thing I’ve ever seen. I want to be that kind of strong.

What about you?

pride is easily insulted

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