Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Truth About Lando Calrissian

Lando Calrissian betrayed his friends to Boba Fett. That's usually what he's remembered for. But then he turned it around, escaped with Leia and Chewie, and later helped rescue Han Solo AND was largely responsible for the destruction of the second Death Star.

That's pretty darn skippy.

Here's something to take note of. Sure, Leia and Han kinda laid a guilt trip on the guy. But if guilt was the sole motivator, then maybe, MAYBE, Lando would have gotten Leia and the wookiee free from Cloud City, but it pretty much would have ended there. Instead he accomplished great things, gained the trust of his new friends and changed the course of history. Even got to dance with the Ewoks during the Yub Yub song.

That's because he found the greater good from within, and some friends took some time to get to know him and believe in him. It's not because they made him feel bad.

My POINT is (yes there's a point) guilt is not a motivator. It might work, a little. It's like the annoying bug near your ear, you'll swat it because it annoys you but it probably won't make you move, and it will just cause you to, well, hate bugs more.

I say this to those who would use guilt trips as a tool to call people to action. It doesn't work. It causes people to resent you and rebel all the more. It is a destructive force like few others, ravaging friendship and partnerships, tearing apart churches and businesses and families.

I've been there, I've even used it and and I've hurt people in the past. It's a power trip and it's prideful and disgusting.

I've also been hurt on the receiving end, which is how I learned my lesson finally. It's amazing how prevalent this is particularly in the church. For example:

I've been told that I'm not listening to God if I don't get involved in a particular project.

I've been told that my salvation is in question if I don't attend a prayer meeting.

I've been told that I'm commiting adultery if I attend another church on Sunday.

I've been told that my choice not to give to a certain charity demonstrates my need for a comfort zone, thus I'm not Christlike.

I've been told that my church commitments should exceed my commitment to my own family.

The amazing thing is that someone could argue that all these points could, in fact, be true. And they even might be true, warped as that sounds. But if you lay on the guilt trip, brother, I can't hear that truth. You're just a bug I wanna swat. And I will swat.

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