Thursday, April 24, 2008

What really matters?

I suppose I am asking myself if I am an unnecessary pain in the neck sometimes!
I went to a Bible expo at a church near us. They had really put a lot of work into it and there was lots of interesting stuff to see. I had my two boys with me (homeschool outing!) and was explaining some of the things.
I was staring at a scroll of Hebrew writing, trying to work out why it looked odd. Eventually figured out it was upside down. The other Hebrew exhibit was also upside down. So I thought - I can probably just discreetly turn them around and no one will notice - and I did.
I guess I felt guilty about interfering and mentioned what I'd done to the local minister when he wandered past. Then I felt guilty about 'raining on his party'. No one else was likely to notice or care.
What is more important - to have something 'right', or to care about people's feelings? In this sense there is an 'absolute truth' - the exhibits were upside down. But what does the rule of love say? I suppose if I had to live that hour again, I would adjust the exhibit and say nothing. And if it had been a church further afield I may have done nothing at all!


Stephen Murray said...

Doesn't the weight or significance of the absolute truth make all the difference? Isn't this exemplified in the notion of 'tough love' where one acts in accordance with truth knowing that pursuing that truth is ultimately the best thing even if it might initially damage relationship?

Steve Hayes said...

One day I was travelling on a bus in Bangkok and the guy next to me pointed out that my wallet had fallen out of my pocket.

He could have said nothing, and let me get off at my bus stop and leave it there.

I'm sure they didn't intend them to be upside down, so by pointing it out, you save them from potential embarrassment.

Jenny Hillebrand said...

Hi Stephen
Yes I agree with you. But also then we introduce the relative. There are absolute truths, but these truths have relative value. And I suppose we each determine for ourselves what that relative value is. I need to think about this some more!

Jenny Hillebrand said...

Hi Steve
Yes, I see what you are saying. I found myself wishing I could see the future. If I did save them from embarrassment, I'm glad. They had highly qualified academics addressing them in the evenings and on Sundays. Rather I point it out than one of them. But maybe in the future no one was ever going to notice, in which case I caused unnecessary pain.
But we don't know the future!

David Barbour said...

As Generation Y (or is it X?) would say "Whatever!"
I think that would have been response!! A cusper on the Boomer and X hinge..