The Thirty Minute Blogger

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Sunday, June 12, 2016

For All Who Can't Resist Telling Others They're Doing It Wrong

A friend and colleague of mine told this beautiful little story about someone who just couldn't resist nibbing in on somebody else's business and the results. According to the "Little Book of Celtic Saints" around 640 AD the travel weary Corman, Celtic Bishop of Northumbria, came back to his home monastery in Iona. There he complained bitterly about the Angles of Northumbria, who were far too stubborn to receive the gospel's good news. Aiden, an Irish monk, just couldn't resist and critiqued the irritated Bishop's work, declaring Corman had been too harsh and suggested a better option. Corman, Aiden pontificated, should "as the Apostle taught us, offer them the milk of less solid doctrine." The historian, Bede, wrote that this went over like a lead balloon and Corman, along with all the monks at Iona, immediately resolved to make Aiden a bishop and send him packing to serve in Northumbria.

Let that be a lesson to us all. Better to keep our mouths shut than to offer unsolicited and unwanted critiques, especially to aggravated people with the power to send us off to the hinterlands to demonstrate just how brilliant our critiques are in practice.


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