Sunday, April 10, 2011

Maintaining Personal Integrity

Recently I had a great disappointment.

Someone I respected made some generalized paranoid comments that upset me.  I get a little crazy when ANYone starts making remarks about a group of people as a whole... I find it difficult to understand why we tend to lump everyone together in the same basket when we talk about motives.

This person made inflammatory statements about a group of people.... and this person is heard and respected by many... so his comments carry a disproportionate weight.  I heard the remarks reported by a friend in a group.  All the heads were nodding in agreement.... but there were no facts in the report... just rhetoric.  I spoke out and the golden moment of agreement ended.  I THOUGHT that it was mis-reported and being the devil's advocate that I am, I spoke up.

Apparently this person is known for this attitude but I never paid attention.  For some reason it never crossed my radar. 

No, I'm not going to reveal details of any of this... it would hurt my friends and if they are reading, they know what I am talking about.  The point of this article is a dilemma and a complaint.

The complaint has to do with our readiness as a society to accept information without facts and our readiness to crucify a whole group of people on the words of ONE PERSON.  That will be another essay for another day

Back to the original issue, my dilemma is this:  I have served in a ministry headed by this person for many years.

In no way can I in good conscience support this person's views.  The person is famous and not in my personal circle.  I work with friends... kind and gentle friends who are not quite as ready or quick to question and push back as I am.

The ministry itself is a good one, as far as I have been able to determine.  Certainly my little corner of it is good and filled with kind hearts.

I feel I MUST pull back some.. at least while I think it through.... but where do I draw the line?   My personal integrity demands that I renounce this kind of thinking... and apparently this person is quite vocal in the issue.  I will have to do more research and listen harder.

Right now I think that my support of the ministry is NOT the same as my support of the person - though it is touchy because the name of the person is so closely tied to the ministry.  But the ministry does much good for people around the world, especially children.

I will struggle for a bit though because I am so very disappointed.  I will have trouble serving beside my friends in this environment because they accept the words of their leader as gospel.  Part of the dilemma is that MY pulling out will ONLY affect the friends I work with... and they will be hurt.

Perhaps I can limit my support in person - and stay behind the scenes.  I may need to pull out altogether.... but right now that SEEMS like overkill (but is EXACTLY what I feel like doing). 

Sooo... what do YOU think that you would do?   How do you maintain personal integrity in a situation that no one else will understand?

1 comment:

  1. Kay, I think this is what is called "being stuck between a rock and a hard place"...
    Not a decision anyone can make for you, but my advice is to listen to your heart and trust your first instincts.

    If leaving hurts your friends, explain in private why you left, true friends will support your decision. Those who don't have their own agendas and conscience to answer to...

    HUGS & Prayers for a peace regarding whatever decision you make!