Malice.

This has been one of those seasons {they really do come and go, you know} when I’m learning a lot from sermons.

And recently, one of the things I learned is that one ought not
assume
malicious
intent.

It’s easy to miss the meaning of those words – it’s easy to pass it over like they don’t matter.
How they do matter.

There’s this fantastic scene in one of my favourite movies, that makes my point, I think.
It goes like this:
Juno MacGuff: Your little girlfriend gave me the stinkeye in art class yesterday.
Paulie Bleeker: Katrina’s not my girlfriend alright? And I doubt she gave you the stinkeye that’s just how her face looks, you know? That’s just her face.

Then there’s this shot of Katrina’s face, and it REALLY IS just how her face looks.


But we all know those girls* who always think everyone’s giving them the stink eye, right?
*{I say “those girls” because I’m certainly not one of them. Not at all. I can’t believe you’d think I’d be one of those girls. What kind of person do you think I am?!}

Okay, okay. So I’m one of those people.
Someone comments on people who have brown hair.
Or people who drive cars.
Or people who have children.
Or people whose favourite colour is blue.
Or people who breastfeed.

And all my defenses offenses are up.
My mind is creating all sorts of insults I could verbalize & forever damage a relationship.
I spend the next three days thinking about all the reasons why blue is such a better color than all the other colors. And why it’s really the best thing that the someone who made a comment & I aren’t friends anymore because, well, why do I even need a friend whose favourite colour isn’t blue, anyway. Loser.

Okay, I’m getting a little carried away, here, but I think you may get my point. {?}

Way back there before my intense inner monologue of insults & days of hurt sulking, there was a moment…
A moment where I determined the person on the other end of this was trying to hurt me.
I assumed this person {often someone I’d consider a friend, or at least an acquaintance} was calling me a bad parent, a bad favourite-colour-haver, or what have you.

That’s where it all went wrong.
I’m serious.

I’m gonna dive back into the thing that I think it always comes back around to:
grace.

Grace before they’ve even wronged me.
Grace to assume that people I’m encountering aren’t aiming to assault me.

That radically changes things.
It changes the way I listen, and the way I communicate.
And the way that all my relationships work.

Perhaps my friend doesn’t know what a lame color purple really is.
Or perhaps they haven’t read the verse in the Bible about loving your enemy.
Perhaps they haven’t read about immunizations, or formula, or epidurals.
Perhaps they have.
Perhaps they’re not trying to call me anything.
Perhaps they are.
{Either way, I should show love.}

But assuming they’re not trying to be malicious saves everybody a headache.
Especially me.
{You know, me, the one sitting at home on my couch with a furrowed brow & her husband comes in. He asks, “what are you thinking about?” Concerned, anxious, & downright distraught, I respond: “Well, so-and-so said they think breastfeeding is gross. And I just can’t believe they’d say that to me – I thought they were my friend. I’m really bothered because I wanted to be their friend, but clearly they hate me…” Again, I’m exaggerating, but not. by. much.}

Do you know anyone like this?
Are you this way?
How would life look different if every time your defenses spring up you just assume the offender is not trying to be malicious?

6 thoughts on “Malice.”

  1. O.M.G. I guess conviction comes when you desperately need to hear something, yah? This is so me. I so think everyone has something against me and take everything so personal. I totally need to learn to wack everyone upside their pretty little heads with some grace.

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  2. I love this.. : ) I think God gave us husbands to say “I think you’re thinking into this waaay too much..” And often times I don’t think I am BUT how much more beautiful would life be if I just chalked it up to that? Even if it’s blissful ignorance! How much happier will I be?! Like water off a duck.. wonderful post.. giving someone the benefit of the doubt before they even say something that could be misunderstood (or rightly understood & offensive!) Cheers to oozing grace, because I know I’m often on the other end with my foot in my mouth! ❤

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  3. If someone knows that making comments about your parenting hurts you then that person is not thinking about the things that are meaningful to you. Although someone may not intend to be malicious, a good friend is thoughtful of your feelings, and if they offend you they apologize, not because they agree with what you do but because they realize that they were out of line. I have had people in my life question decisions that I have made concerning my child and incinuate that I was doing something wrong because they thought that I needed their approval to be a “good parent” to my child. I can imagine that it is frustrating and hurtful. I am not sure how the conversation went, but telling a Mother who breastfeeds or believes in nursing her child that she is doing something wrong is completely disrespecful, and that doesn’t sound like someone who cares about your feelings as a Mother.

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  4. I love reading your blog. It’s so refreshing to find someone so real! I started reading a while ago, John is one of my Facebook friends from college, I’m not even sure if I actually know him, and that’s how I found your blog…but I still love to read it. You guys have a gift. 🙂

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    1. Brittany,

      So glad to have you along for our crazy journey as we blog about all that life has been since we said “I do”

      Also, I knew a couple Brittanys in college, feel me to message me on Facebook or post on the We Roquemore page… we love knowing our readers.

      John

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