Here’s what I want for Christmas: everyone stop being a jerk. Yep, that’s it.
Problem is that it seems really challenging for us. Even me, who tends to be nice to everyone, but I’ll be honest, I have some things to say in the privacy of my room that my husband could tell you about but won’t because he knows better.
Wait, no, I’M not a jerk! You are!
It’s so easy to fall into just treating other people with contempt. That’s being a jerk.
It can be a blind spot to judge others. That’s being a jerk.
I know times when I think just ever so slightly less of someone because of something they said or did or didn’t do or posted on social media. That’s being a jerk.
Being a jerk is like being an eraser. Someone is drawing something and you come along and start erasing it. That’s being a jerk. But it’s in little ways. It’s in talking about someone when she isn’t there. Or it’s criticizing someone to his face without letting him explain himself or listening to a word of what he is saying. It’s getting louder than the other people arguing with you or always needing to have the last word. It’s just generally being critical and condemning other people’s efforts, or non-efforts as the case may be. It’s undoing the beauty and glory of the image of God displayed in every human face.
There’s this beautiful moment in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by CS Lewis. Edmund, who has been a quintessential jerk so far, is rescued and brought before Aslan, the Lion. There are no words. It’s just mentioned by Lewis as a conversation that no one heard. But they all saw it. And they all knew Edmund was changed by it. And he was no longer a jerk. He was better and more noble and more loving. He fights bravely. He makes better choices. He cares deeply for Narnia and his family.
We’re all a little bit Edmund, aren’t we? And something about stress and Christmas and lists and all the so-called “festivities” can make us downright Scrooges. Let’s not be. Let’s have a conversation with The Lion. Let him breathe on us and feel his strength and meekness and humility and power. This is my greatest wish for all my family and friends. That we would see Jesus, and everyone will know it.