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

Recently I subscribed to a daily message about my Enneagram personality type. I’m a nine, which, as my inbox informed me earlier this month, 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

Ask Colin Kaepernick, who disturbed the manufactured peace of America’s Sunday afternoons with the truth of systemic violence and oppression against people of color in our country. Like Jeremiah, he has suffered for his holy message.

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 didn’t want to hear. When I feel moved to shout, “You must die!” at even the smallest provocation (like a kneeling man) 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.

dd-vinceamlin.jpgAbout the Author
Vince Amlin is co-pastor of Bethany UCC and co-planter of Gilead Church Chicago, forming now.