I remember saying this at least once: “It’s not you; it’s me.” Like you might expect, I said this, at least in part, with the intent that the person with whom I was breaking up not to take it personally.
Like every relationship, though, the actual truth would probably have been more “it’s some you, and some me.
I thought of this about a week ago, as reactions and reverberations to The United Methodist Church’s 2019 General Conference started to flow. Then I realized that I had done a good bit of blame placing of my own. I almost became a Facebook Troll of a fellow UM Clergyperson! I typed out and all-but-hit “send” several times. In fact, if I were confronted with everything I did actually post or tweet, I might find a few that I would now undo.
It was in that process of self reflection that the phrase, “It’s not me; it’s you” came to mind. This time, though, it was with this reference point. The ‘analysis’ and reactions to #GC2019 all seemed to share this one characteristic: The problem was, is, will be, with some “other;” the other side, my opponents, etc.
In other words, most of the early reflections on General Conference 2019 were
It’s not me; it’s you.
Which really just shows how easily we tend to get caught up casting blame away from ourselves.
What if some of the “It’s not me; it’s you” that has been going around within United Methodism for more than 30 years met up with a larger dose of “It’s not you; it’s me”?
What have I been doing or saying; what has my “side” been doing or saying that contributes to our inability, as Christian brothers and sisters, to find a way toward the future to which God is calling us?
As long as the other is the problem, we will not find a satisfactory solution.