Don’t Kill the Messenger
As soon as Jeremiah finished telling all the people everything the Lord had commanded him to say, the priests, the prophets and all the people seized him and said, “You must die! Why do you prophesy in the Lord’s name that this house will be like Shiloh and this city will be desolate and deserted?” – Jeremiah 26:8-9 (NIV)
I subscribe to a daily message about my Enneagram personality type. I’m a nine, which, as my inbox informed me recently, means I tend to seek harmony and avoid discord.
It’s true. When something stresses me out, my inclination is to ignore it. I let that ugly email fester unanswered. I pretend I don’t hear that strange sound the car has started to make. And God help the person who dares to disturb my manufactured peace with the truth.
It’s hard to be the bearer of bad news. Sometimes deadly. Ask Jeremiah, who repeats the words God whispers into his ear and is threatened with a death sentence.
In my better moments, I recognize that the anger I feel at having my peace disturbed is directly related to the truth I recognize in the message I don’t want to hear. When I feel moved to shout, “You must die!” at even the smallest provocation of my peace, it’s a sure sign that there is a powerful reality I am trying to deny.
Sacred Disturbance, destroy the false harmony of my chosen ignorance. Give me the courage to kneel before the truth.
Vince Amlin is co-pastor of Bethany UCC, Chicago, and co-planter of Gilead Church Chicago, forming now.