Here’s another of Aesop’s Fables illustrating some Christianity:
A MAN had two Gamecocks in his poultry-yard. One day by chance he found a tame Partridge for sale. He purchased it and brought it home to be reared with his Gamecocks. When the Partridge was put into the poultry-yard, they struck at it and followed it about, so that the Partridge became grievously troubled and supposed that he was thus evilly treated because he was a stranger.
Not long afterwards he saw the Cocks fighting together and not separating before one had well beaten the other. He then said to himself, “I shall no longer distress myself at being struck at by these Gamecocks, when I see that they cannot even refrain from quarreling with each other.”
When I first became a pastor and had people get mad at me and leave in a huff, I took it personally. I felt I had let them down. I should have done more. It was my fault.
I took it hard that it must be my faults that drove them from church.
After sticking with the church through this, and now with hindsight and many more people who left ungraciously, I now know it had little to do with me.
(Many have left respectfully as well and there were also times when I was at fault. I am speaking to the instances where people flip out and leave angry over some indiscernible something that happened sometime.)
People who have problems with you generally have problems with everyone else too. Few people who vehemently leave churches in a huff only do it once. Generally their huffiness leads them to be huffy elsewhere. If they haven’t put on a show in more than one church already, they will.
Take heart: jerks are jerks whether you are near them or not.
If a jerk falls in the forest and no one is there to hear him, he’s still a jerk.