Every now and then we get someone in our lives as repulsive as Sheldon. Someone who believes they’re right, when they intellectually, they probably are. Yet, the very sound of their voice, the very sense of their presence draws us into retreat, self-destruction or we want to kill them.
In my freshman year of college, I was reading the A New Kind of Christian trilogy by Brian McLaren. Unaware of who he was, I began receiving unwarranted animosity from classmates and professors from my school. I found this series to be a delight for where I was in. I was a point of asking myself bigger questions about discipleship (this came about after reading The Cost of Discipleship by Bonhoeffer the summer before), questions about Evangelism (after growing out of street evangelism and trying to scare people into faith) and problems I was having with my interpretation of the Bible. It was accommodating for someone to put into fiction what I was living.
The trouble was, I had a few Sheldon’s on my floor and in my classes. People who were there to point out that I was “wrong”, that they were “right” and doing so, in a way that was both unappealing and frustrating. I believe that it is an unhealthy ego that needs to be right, that converts people into religion or drives them away from the idea of God altogether. And, it is the love of Christians, who may have been right or wrong, that has brought me into a deeper place of community with not only them, but, with God.
When our need to be right, or our ability to promote our own self-knowledge gets in the way of us loving others with perfect acceptance, then we as Christians have lost. There are people out there who have the intelligence to move mountains, but, without love, its all meaningless.