When we lead with gentleness, it decreases the chances that we will bulldoze someone with self-righteousness because we honestly believe that we’re no better than they are and no greater authority on anything. I think all intellectually honest religious people should suffer from some level of Imposter’s Syndrome; like they don’t quite have a handle on things, as if they are a hair’s width from collapse. That kind of humility keeps you open to slightly revising or even totally dismantling your theological framework when experience begins to push against it. It makes you softer toward other stumbling pilgrims on the journey because you feel kinship with them in their struggle. In my experience, the confessed failures and admitted frauds are far more benevolent than the self-anointed angels and the saints are, anyway. People aware of their deficiencies are always more loving than those who are oblivious to them, even if they’re an endangered species these days.
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