Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. I Corinthians 4, NRSV
The pained smile. The back-handed compliment.
The constant reminders of feats accomplished. Superiority flaunted to make others feel their inferiority.
Bad behavior tolerated or excused because of exceptional accomplishment, no matter how it hurts others.
Whether on the giving or receiving end, harm is done and people are left broken. Faith communities and the people in them aren’t immune. They can be torn apart by such things because it diminishes the lives of everyone involved.
Like everything else, I suspect it boils down to a lack of love for one of the big three: God, Self, Other. If we had eyes to see our own value, would we waste any time on worrying how we compared to others? If we had eyes to see the worth of others, wouldn’t we honor that in word and deed?
If we trusted that we were created and loved by God, would any other recognition be necessary?
Sometimes, what we do not do is as powerful as anything we do.
God, give me eyes to see and a heart to love. Amen.