Thriving on Conflict
Since I have employed comment moderation, there is a person who continues to attempt commenting, even though I have yet to publish the remarks. This apparently has not dissuaded him or her from saying whatever he or she wants to me and about me. You don't see these comments on the site, but every now and then I open the moderation file and see the accusations and insults.
At some point, even though the subject of the comments is me, this thing stopped being about me.
I know I've ruffled feathers. I know the point at which I stop suffering fools gladly comes more quickly for me than it does others. So I get that I've irked some people. Nevertheless, I still am baffled by how anyone can read this site and think it is ugly and graceless and insulting. Not because I'm a perfect person who writes nothing controversial, but because I really do believe I've done a reasonably decent job at creating the opposite. And enough other folks have confirmed that impression to the point that I believe them, rather than the angry ones.
Some people just thrive on conflict. They may begin with a justified anger, but eventually it is distorted all out of proportion in their hearts, to where being unsettled is not just an emotional reaction to something done or said, but an actual quality of their spirit. They are upset, and then your failure to justify their disposition for them makes them more upset, and then you enter this bizarre dialogical position where even things meant as blessings feel like hot coals on their heads.
You can't please everybody. And some people do not want to be pleased; they want to be engaged, sparred with, retorted to, received as a combatant. These people can be toxic. They bait you, and you engage them. Then they make you regret taking the bait. So you dismiss them, and then they insult you for not engaging them. There is nothing more pleasing to them than your displeasing them.
I'll be frank: We can do without these people in the process. Give us the hurt, the confused, the genuinely angry, and the torn. Take from us those who can't stand peace. There can be no rebuilding or reconciliation as long as involved parties don't want it.
Do you know why I end some posts with "Peace"? It's not just a lame sign-off, and it's not something I do thoughtlessly. It is a reminder to myself and to others that the difficult work, the hard words, the frayed nerves and the frazzled emotions must contribute, at the end of the day, to a peaceful Body. If your work and words do not have peace in mind as their eventual result, it is time to reevaluate your work and words.
The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever. -- Isaiah 32:17