Credibility Gap

Someone referred to my daughter by saying “hey, kid.” Oddly enough, it was another kid!

It’s not that she’s not a “kid.” She is 16, well within the normal range for being called a kid. The problem was, the young man who called her that, a “kid” himself, meant it in a condescending manner. At least that was the tone and context in which it happened.

He was in a position of alleged leadership, my daughter merely in attendance at the event. I say alleged leadership because I don’t consider anyone with a condescending attitude an actual leader.

Leadership, as well as authority, by my best understanding, are things that come along with respect and credibility. Once this young man, probably the same age as my daughter, said “hey kid” to her, he lost all credibility and respect, and thus his ability to lead.

Oh, sure, being in a “position of leadership” he still did have some ability to control my daughter, but when such control is exercised entirely absent respect and credibility it loses the character that leadership, authority, and control ought to have in the context of Christian community.

Once upon a time, when I was a “kid,” an older adult referred to me as “you people.” Instantly, I had no respect for him, nor did I care what he had to say at me following that phrase.

If we want the world to hear us; if we want other Christians to hear us, we need seek credibility and respect so far as it is up to us.

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