Generally speaking, it isn’t necessarily our particular theological worldview, political perspective, or personal opinion that is problematic, but the manner in which we wield them and our purpose for wielding them the way that we do. It isn’t always the message, sometimes it’s the heart of the messenger. We often imagine that being a loving person means never causing injury or initiating conflict, but it’s more complicated and subtle than that. In this life, you’ve surely hurt other people and you’ve done so in one of two ways: either you’ve accidentally damaged someone by saying or doing something that you weren’t aware was offensive or painful to them – or you’ve intentionally wounded them because that was either partially or fully what you were trying to do from the beginning. In the former case, you were human and in the latter case, you were a jerk – and often times you’re the only one who knows the truth. The first instance requires self-awareness and honesty to repair the damage, while the second necessitates repentance and a severe attitude adjustment, and that that’s a much taller order.
From “If God Is Love, Don’t Be A Jerk: Finding a Faith That Makes Us Better Humans” by John Pavlovitz – Westminster John Knox Press