Behind the facade of composure this week, I’ve been seething with annoyance and frustration over a series of irritations. I know that one should never ascribe to malice what can adequately be explained by incompetence, but sometimes one confronts a situation in which one’s respect for others obliges one to ponder which is more charitable: to think someone else foolish, or to think them malign? And since I think that artificial forced choices signal a perniciously constrained imagination, what besides malice or incompetence might explain startlingly misguided behavior?
In such circumstances, this morning’s epistle lesson included 2 Timothy 2:23-25, “Have nothing to do with stupid and senseless controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kindly to everyone, an apt teacher, patient, correcting opponents with gentleness.” Oooops.