To be mean is to insist on your own way at the expense of others. It’s the opposite of Christ’s kind gentleness. It is to throw away God’s faithfulness and exert your own pride as means to achieve selfish ends.
With each experience of someone being hateful towards us, God is giving us an opportunity. Sure, we might be taken aback, but that’s simply because we have expectations greater than depraved souls can meet all the time.
Certain that true community and growth were only possible through unflinching vulnerability, I committed to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. I shared all the gory details of my past and present struggles, heaping burdens upon willing listeners while remaining a safe distance from their attempts to speak truth into my life.
In our increasingly secular culture, ultimate loyalty to self as the greatest commandment really isn’t that surprising. I wonder though if many of us who claim Christ aren’t still deeply committed to our culture’s highest value instead of our God’s. With all our talk of love languages, Buzzfeed quizzes and personality tests, I can’t help but question how much of our belief system is entangled with the lust to express our individuality instead of – or at the expense of – pursuing Christ?