Four days ago I had oral surgery: three lower molars were extracted. I am a grinder. I am systematically and relentlessly destroying my own teeth. But, this blog isn’t about my oral woes. It is about some things I have observed since I have been “under the weather,” so-to-speak. I am a pretty social person. And, I tend to speak, or type, what is on my mind. Sometimes this is good. Sometimes this is not so good. Never-the-less, it is how I tend to roll.
Over the past few years, I have been examining my faith and belief structure. I do not want to bore my regular readers with re-visiting earlier posts. Those of you who are interested can backtrack and catch up. But, during my recent recovery, some behavioral issues have stood out to me from some religious folks whom I have known, loved and respected for most of my life. I thought I would share some of these stories with you as I process through how they have made me feel. Perhaps they will also help you in some small way.
First, I posted an online article, Swearing to Make Your Point, I had read regarding whether profanity should be used, or not, in professional slide decks and presentations. I am not one to go around “cursing people out” when I am angry. However, I do believe there are times and places where it is acceptable to be a little freer with speech than others. For instance, I am not going to go into the gym and say, “Come on guys, let’s go work our hineys off.” I’m going to say, “Let’s kick ass!” I don’t really care if you think “ass” is profanity, or not. Truth of the matter is ass=butt=glutes=hiney=hind end. Deal with it. However, someone condemned my tolerance and occasional situational use of profanity by spiritually condemning me while also telling me how disappointed my parents would be in my behavior. Really? I am 52-years-old and you are going to try to shame me by bringing my deceased parents into the picture? It was a bit ridiculous, unbelievable and hurtful all at the same time. Fortunately, I had a great relationship with my parents. And, they loved me unconditionally. The love and acceptance I received from my parents was not based upon my behavior. Just like the love and acceptance I receive from my Lord is not based upon my behavior. In all actuality, my parents would not be upset with me. They would be upset with the insensitive comment from the other person questioning their love and acceptance of their baby boy. I tend to think that the Lord might feel the same way.
Next, I have been watching a lot of shows on Netflix as I recover. An old favorite of mine was “Dark Shadows.” So, I posted the other night I was watching this old classic. The question arises, “Seriously? Vampires?” Yes, it is called entertainment and fiction. I tend to go through this every so often. Many Christians believe that shows such as Twilight and Harry Potter should not be watched by Believers. They genuinely believe there is a spiritual overtone damaging to one’s walk with God. My response is…it is FICTION! To think such a thing, people with this mindset must really still think Satan is red, has horns and carries a pitchfork like the Halloween character. That is how you would liken the appearance to a fictional movie, right? I tend to find Satan’s cronies look more like “normal” church-goers than vampires. Seriously, isn’t that how he rolls?
I have been trying to get back to the basics: love God, love man and share God’s love with all we meet. That is the entire foundation of the Gospel. Everything else is out of my control and is between individual mankind and their God. This past week, instead of having to argue or defend something as trivial as language and entertainment, a simple, “How are you feeling post surgery?” Or, “I’m praying for your recovery,” would have been so much more Christ-like and welcomed. I want to be the, “I’m praying for you,” guy. Not the, judging and condemning man that I, unfortunately, once was.