I have recently be called many things by my friends, many good and some hurtful. And when I think about it, I have been called some unusal names. For this post, I want to highlight some rare positive labels I was given in the past. I also want to highlight the negative.
She always seemed to had all the answers. So I was surprised when she came to me for advice. When all our mutal friends were taking sides, she tried to persuade me to take her side. At the height of the Civil and Silent wars that she faced, I could have swung the favour to her side. Much as she needed that emotional victory, I turned her down.
"I heard from your side; I need to hear from the other," I painfully but firmly rejected her request, before adding, "I get the sense you're not telling me the whole story."
She appeared shock, but quick hid her surprised by staring downwards.
"You are the wisest of them all," she concluded the conversation without leaving. Her words, left a lasting imprint on me. It was the first time anyone had accused me of being "wise".
Years later, I knew what she had meant. By refusing to take sides (due to the lack of information revealed by both sides), I managed to be remain friends with the opposing sides. Sadly the conflict has not ended, but I look forward to the day that it is over.
The man was larger than life. His look showed that he was all business, but no leisure. He was annoyed that no one had followed the instructions he had given a few days ago, and he let everyone in on it.
"I didn't receive any instructions," I answered.
"I gave them out."
"I'm sorry, but I really didn't receive them."
We see-sawed back and forth till he realised that he was mistaken. As I joined my colleagues for lunch, they remarked that I was "brave" for facing him down. However, I took no pride in it. I was just stating the truth as respectfully as I could muster.
After all, it was not I who was brave-- I simply had truth behind me. It is ironic in how this strangely post-modern world, truth can still be a powerful tool.
Yet again, I made a comment that made me examine my own morality. Was I so depraved of satisfaction that I had claim joy from someone's downfall?
I remembered being envious of a classmate. So I waited till he/she slipped once, and I would defeat him/her with one word. And eventually he/she did. And I said it:
He/she looked crestenfallen, as I smirked happily. One of my close friends in class then turned to me and called me "evil". I paused. My friend was right.
I would like to say I didn't mean it; but I meant it. I would like to say I was sorry; but I wasn't. I would like to say it was out of context; but there was no other context. It was a long, hard fall I took.
On hindsight, I was grateful to be called that-- it made me reexamine my life.
The funny thing is I want to know what people think of me. Because the commitment we make is revealed in the labels we make. And especially as a Christian, I wonder how I actually label Jesus. Am I willing to make that commitment? Are you?
And he [Jesus] asked them, "But who do you say that I am?" Peter answered him, "You are the Christ." -- Mark 8:29