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Old 5th April 2017, 2:15 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by aileD View Post
Why do some people tell you you're being patronizing or get offended when you tell them you will say a prayer for them?
Let's face it. You aren't going to please 100% of people, 100% of the time. No matter matter how well-meaning your intentions, there will always be someone who takes offense, misinterprets your intentions, dislikes you for whatever random, illogical reason, etc.

As long as you have good intentions, are generally treating people the way you would wish to be treated, are sensitive to the needs of others, and are contributing in some positive way to the lives of those around you, carry on. It's not worth the time and angst to twist yourself into a pretzel trying to please every random stranger you encounter.
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Old 6th April 2017, 6:44 AM   #17
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I'm sure there are some that are extremely condescending and arrogant when saying they will either offer prayer or in letting the person know they will pray for them- to this group I say they do not understand what prayer actually is.

Prayer should never be entered into lightly for many reasons, it is a serious matter not to be taken lightly.

For those that say more practical means are better than prayer, I would disagree especially if it is an intercessor that has offered up the prayer. Intercessors move mountains, literally- it's on the same lines as 'give a man a fish and he's fed for a day; teach a man to fish and he's fed for a lifetime'.
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Old 6th April 2017, 7:10 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by aileD View Post
Ok so don't tell people if I pray for them.

And I do give advice and pray too. And with the nature of this forum it's not like I'm praying "please make this woman wake up and stop cheating on her husband". It's more a "please help guide her to the choice that is best for her life and heart and self"

Just an example
OK, from an athiest point of view, this is a terrific example of being patronising. If you told me upfront that this is what you were praying for, I'd probably get snarky at you.

I am 100% responsible for my own decisions and the outcomes in my life. If you really want the best for me, you would encourage ME to make the best choice - not ask your God to help me make the best choice.
And yes, my life may not be in control. But that is due to my own stupidity and only I can get myself out of it.

As an athiest, personal responsibility is the crux of my belief system.
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Old 6th April 2017, 7:15 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by pureinheart View Post
I'm sure there are some that are extremely condescending and arrogant when saying they will either offer prayer or in letting the person know they will pray for them- to this group I say they do not understand what prayer actually is.

Prayer should never be entered into lightly for many reasons, it is a serious matter not to be taken lightly.

For those that say more practical means are better than prayer, I would disagree especially if it is an intercessor that has offered up the prayer. Intercessors move mountains, literally- it's on the same lines as 'give a man a fish and he's fed for a day; teach a man to fish and he's fed for a lifetime'.

i dont think practical is better than prayer......i think its the same thing.......we are asked to be gods hands on earth.......

1 Corinthians 12:27 ESV / 20 helpful votes Helpful Not Helpful

Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.

we are asked to comfort the weary open our doors to the homeless......feed the hungry....comfort the sick....provide for the widow....we are meant to be like christ its why we are christian ...to be a light unto the world...we glorify god.......we glorify god by helping others.....offering our hands and feet....to do his work......practical in my opinion si just as important.....as prayer ..... when we have doneall we can do .....adn we cannot go further...we becoem prayer warriors for those we wish to help......an i do take prayer seriously...bu ti also talk to god informally as i would my father if i had one.....


i tell him how i feel or when i am happy or thankful or joyful or feeling funny i talk to him....god loves my bubbles...they normally turn to happy tears........but i get this really warm feeling when i am happy and i pray im not serious at all...im just happy..theres plenty of time for me to be serious..........and god loves it.....when i am happy....even though theres crap all around me.......i feel surrounded also by light and love and honestly it doesnt happen much lately...but today...right now...i am really ...happy...and i will pray ...that others can read it.....and feel happy too....no matter what situation they are in..and when i go down...ill come back on here read this and remember hey i was really bubbly......just a day ago.....and remember the light i felt..and how i almost just might make it through the storms.......with his help....my friends too......

love you pure in heart......xoxo...you are one of my faves.........deb
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Old 6th April 2017, 7:16 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by pureinheart View Post
For those that say more practical means are better than prayer, I would disagree especially if it is an intercessor that has offered up the prayer. Intercessors move mountains, literally- it's on the same lines as 'give a man a fish and he's fed for a day; teach a man to fish and he's fed for a lifetime'.
I am ignorant about intercessors. How does an intercessor give practical (as in teaching how to fish) help to a person in need? Are they people who engage in teaching life skills or rehabilitation?
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Old 6th April 2017, 7:39 AM   #21
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i dont think practical is better than prayer......i think its the same thing.......we are asked to be gods hands on earth.......


love you pure in heart......xoxo...you are one of my faves.........deb
Love you too and backatcha!

Possibly we will have to agree to disagree? I'm not sure this will come out the way I want it too, but here goes...

I don't see prayer and the practical as one in the same because I see prayer on a higher level and here's why.

I am fallible, VERY fallible and there have been many times in my life where I 'help' others to the point of being an enabler and had to pray myself out of those situations. I had to learn to pray before acting to make sure I was in Gods will concerning that individual... His will (and I know people DO NOT like to hear this) may be for that person to go through the fire for their own good... BTDT on both ends.
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Old 6th April 2017, 7:57 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by basil67 View Post
I am ignorant about intercessors. How does an intercessor give practical (as in teaching how to fish) help to a person in need? Are they people who engage in teaching life skills or rehabilitation?
What Is Intercessory Prayer? | CBN.com

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Intercession is prayer that pleads with God for your needs and the needs of others. But it is also much more than that. Intercession involves taking hold of God's will and refusing to let go until His will comes to pass.

Intercession is warfare -- the key to God's battle plan for our lives. But the battleground is not of this earth. The Bible says, "We are not fighting against humans. We are fighting against forces and authorities and against rulers of darkness and spiritual powers in the heavens above" (Eph. 6:12).
My meaning of the fish quote is, certainly I can give food, money, etc., thats actually easy IMO... but if I pray for God to move in an individuals life concerning salvation (which is the ultimate 'fix') or a direct need, God can orchestrate the major change needed (if it is His will) to pull that person out of the particular need.

OP- I have to wonder if those who consider prayers/praying 'patronizing', if they really do want an end to their situation or if they are just angry people.. I can't ever remember anyone that was sincere telling me when I offered prayer that it was uncool... so far all have been grateful.
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Old 6th April 2017, 8:08 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by pureinheart View Post
Love you too and backatcha!

Possibly we will have to agree to disagree? I'm not sure this will come out the way I want it too, but here goes...

I don't see prayer and the practical as one in the same because I see prayer on a higher level and here's why.

I am fallible, VERY fallible and there have been many times in my life where I 'help' others to the point of being an enabler and had to pray myself out of those situations. I had to learn to pray before acting to make sure I was in Gods will concerning that individual... His will (and I know people DO NOT like to hear this) may be for that person to go through the fire for their own good... BTDT on both ends.

i see what you mean......i actually agree i can be an enabler too but i normally pray before i help someone...not a formal prayer either just god guixde me show me...simple words......and sometimes i get told no....like my son...give him food not money......or my next door neighbours kids came over tonight and asked for ten dollars for dinner......i thought i only had ten dollars left and so first i said no...and i heard a whisper in my heart say give...and i balked it was my last ten dollars...i just stared at them.........and i thought how am i going to feed my own kids.......thanks god ......and the kids were turning from the door they said oh....looked at their feet.......when i said i didnt have it......and i felt a sadness..and i said wait......and i gave them my last ten dollars....and i sat down at the computer and though ill see if i have five bucks left in my account....i went on my bank app...guess what...33 dollars......because uber money that was taken out of my account without my permission ...was returned......my next door neighbour often struggles she has seven or eight kids.........and she always pays me back......would it be christian of me ...to ignore the voice that told me to give my last ten dollars.....and pray for her and her family......i was told ...to give.....i didnt pray....i just listened......adn i gave ...my hand touched the oldest boys...he smiled..took th emoney.....said thankyou...and i said no worries.....even though...i actually was worried...part of me ....said no worries..and i sat down....and checked my account......

now i know why i am so damn happy....god loves me..deb

Last edited by todreaminblue; 6th April 2017 at 8:14 AM..
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Old 10th April 2017, 9:21 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by aileD View Post
Why do some people tell you you're being patronizing or get offended when you tell them you will say a prayer for them?

I think it's nice that someone would think about you enough to say a prayer for your happiness or for help in solving s problem or peace or whatever
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Originally Posted by BC1980 View Post
It makes me uncomfortable when people say they will pray for me.
I think it's best to ask people whether they would like us to pray for them or if it's okay to pray for them. If it's going to make the person uncomfortable, then that's not really "nice" at all. They don't need to give out reasons for why they don't want it; whatever it is, it's personal and private, as BC1980 said. Even if we have the greatest faith in our own ability to invoke the proper needed spiritual protection, healing, guidance and whatever else is in the person's own highest interest, that does not mean that it can be forced upon them; they still need to be at least somewhat open to receiving it in order to receive it.

Asking for such spiritual assistance for one's own self is not against the Will or Law of God - especially if we include a phrase along the lines of, "nevertheless, be it done unto me according to Thy Will and Thy Law".
Jesus prayed to his Father or God all the time, and not only for others.
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Old 14th April 2017, 5:48 AM   #25
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I am an atheist. But if someone says they will pray for me, that's fine. It means they are thinking of me. Just because I don't believe in God doesn't mean I have to be a jerk to someone who does.

BUT!!! Don't say you're going to pray for someone when you could take some concrete action to help.

Quick story - My girlfriend (also an atheist) has a friend who is very religious. This friend's husband was in California (we live in Virginia) and had a heart attack so the friend had to suddenly go to California for a long period. My girlfriend and another atheist friend went to the friend's house and took care of cats and dogs and alpacas. A lot of work! But they are her friends so they helped.

So the religious friend, on facebook, was "So thankful for the thoughts and prayers of my brothers and sisters in Christ" from her church. Any thanks to the two atheist friends who were out there mucking alpaca stalls? NOPE!

Your thoughts and prayers are great! But how about some help?
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Old 11th May 2017, 10:36 AM   #26
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To me, saying "I'll pray for you" is the same thing as saying "I'll do nothing to help you through your situation"

Yeah, thanks for your prayers. I just spilled the beans to you, Im asking for your help! That's the best you can do? "I'll pray for you" ok well thanks for nothing!
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Old 13th May 2017, 7:37 AM   #27
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I am 100% responsible for my own decisions and the outcomes in my life. <snip>
As an athiest, personal responsibility is the crux of my belief system.
That is actually the crux of Jesus' message/teaching, as well. "Within" means 'personal'...as in, you don't need the outer rabbis, priests and pastors; just follow what you know in your heart to be good and proper for yourself and for others.

basil67, I know that's what you're saying...I'm in no way disagreeing with you. For me, it's more disagreeable when people think in terms of needing an external 'saviour' of some sort, or that they can harbour enmity, animosity, bitterness; hardness of heart and hostility of feelings...and 'some other guy' has already taken care of transmuting that for them and redeeming them. They don't feel a personal responsibility for healing their own stuff and coming to a place of love, understanding, tolerance of inner and outer differences and forgiveness. Or, in the words of 'the other guy', a place of meekness of heart and mind; of peaceful and non-violent thoughts and feelings.
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Old 14th May 2017, 5:55 AM   #28
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I think like a couple of other people mentioned it entirely depends on the context in which the prayer is offered. Often it is not what we do - but how we do it that triggers a reaction in people. The word "patronizing" is what jumps out most to me. Its an interesting word usually associated with false kindness and someone feeling superior to the other person.

So does the person you are offering to pray for actually consider themselves to have an issue that requires prayer in the first place ? This is an important question because if they don't then you randomly offering "to pray for them" would indeed come across quite condescending and as an act of judgement rather then one of assistance.

Next if the person has expressed to you that they are in a difficult situation and in need of assistance - do they feel the "prayer" is merely a token gesture offered by you to avoid actually assisting them in a more direct way ?

Those are the two things that jump out to me as possibilities.

Last edited by Justanaverageguy; 14th May 2017 at 5:59 AM..
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Old 23rd May 2017, 2:34 PM   #29
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And I do give advice and pray too. And with the nature of this forum it's not like I'm praying "please make this woman wake up and stop cheating on her husband". It's more a "please help guide her to the choice that is best for her life and heart and self"
Yikes. That definitely comes across as patronizing. It implies that the person isn't capable of making her own choices.

Also keep in mind that most athiests have dealt with aggressive Christians at some point, either the type who try and convert athiests/agnostics to Christianity or the type who just tell them they will go to hell. So when you tell someone you're praying for them, they may think that you're forcing your beliefs onto them. That's how I always felt when I was an agnostic. To me, "I'll pray for you" always sounded like "I know you don't believe in my religion, but I don't care. I will try to send God your way anyway because I think that you need him. I don't care if you want him or not."

Last edited by SpiralOut; 23rd May 2017 at 3:04 PM..
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Old 24th May 2017, 8:16 AM   #30
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Also keep in mind that most athiests have dealt with aggressive Christians at some point, either the type who try and convert athiests/agnostics to Christianity or the type who just tell them they will go to hell. So when you tell someone you're praying for them, they may think that you're forcing your beliefs onto them. That's how I always felt when I was an agnostic. To me, "I'll pray for you" always sounded like "I know you don't believe in my religion, but I don't care. I will try to send God your way anyway because I think that you need him. I don't care if you want him or not."
Yes this is a good point and something I have become keenly aware of when I talk to people across all walks of life. Everyone likes to be spoken to in their "own language". Not just the nationality - but the semantics of the words. This is the way they have personally made sense of the world - and the way they are most open to receiving and understanding a message. When we can speak to someone using their own words instead of trying to force them to use ours - then we can avoid confusion\misinterpretation.

God\prayer may be a wonderful idea for you personally - but not for someone else. They may not have the same understanding - they may see religion simply as the cause of unintelligent and aggressive behavior.

Thus when speaking to someone who you know is not spiritual - using different words - which fundamentally hold the same meaning can be very powerful. Saying something like I will be keeping you in my thoughts and be sending positive energy your way is acceptable to almost any person. If you truly are a spiritual person - christian or otherwise - then the most important thing about offering prayer/positive thoughts is the effect it has on the person. Thus learning to deliver your message in the most helpful way is at the end of the day the important thing.

Last edited by Justanaverageguy; 24th May 2017 at 8:22 AM..
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