Disclaimer: I am writing this mostly out of good humor, but a little bit out of strong opinion. If this offends you, please know that it wasnâ€™t meant to be offensive. And then ask yourself, â€œDo I get offended about everything? Am I that person?â€ Because letâ€™s face it, Iâ€™m pretty funny. I mean, if you’re not laughing, you probably need to relax a little bit. So let yourself laugh. Even snort if you laugh really hardâ€¦why not? Being a Christian should be fun. Letâ€™s have fun.
We live in a culture that is really in your face all day, every day, and sometimes itâ€™s hard to be a Christian in the midst of all of it. On the other hand, I think that we greatly overcomplicate the very act of being a Christian. When I look at the life of Jesus, I donâ€™t see a guy who stayed indoors and prayed during every waking moment. I donâ€™t see a guy who said, â€œOMG, here they come. Letâ€™s pretend that we didnâ€™t see them,â€ when somebody of another religion walked by. I donâ€™t see a guy who was ruled by fear to the point that he felt the need to declare that he had arrived with every new room he stepped into.
When I think of Jesus, I think of a man who was generally in a good mood, who was funny, slightly sarcastic, and who (letâ€™s not forget the story about the fig tree) got angry when he was hungry, aka hangry,Â a condition that I also suffer from.
I think in our Christian walk, a lot of the time we go about it the wrong way. Jesus told us that the most important commandment was to love your neighbor. Who is your neighbor? What if your neighbor is a lesbian? What if they listen to death metal? What if they drink beer STRAIGHT FROM THE BOTTLE. Barbarians. Yeah, love them. And stop being so darn weird.
But a lot of times, what happens is that we love later.Â We really, honestly do things out of order. We forget to love and then offer our opinions and advice on how to “fix their lives” but haven’t ever taken the proper steps to actually be in their lives.
So I have compiled a list of things that Christians donâ€™t need to do, but for some reason we insist on doing.Â If you’re easily upset by the comments of others or just generally PMSing or maybe don’t like to me to begin with, I suggest you stop reading now.
1. YOU DONâ€™T NEED TO PRAY ABOUT EVERYTHINGÂ
God, where should I eat?
Dear Heavenly Father, I have a big job interview today. What should I wear?
God,Â how should I cut my hair?
Dear God, if you want me to text that guy back, let me pass 3 taco bells on the way home.
Okay, so here’s the thing: do you realize how insane we sound when we pray about the dumbest stuff? Yeah, I strongly believe that God cares about the things that we care about, but he also gave us this amazing organ called a BRAIN that kind of covers a lot of topics in our life. If you want God to clear traffic for you, you should have left earlier! (Preaching to the choir here…) And I understand the struggle about not being able to pick out some place to eat, but just pick some place. God doesnâ€™t care if you had Applebeeâ€™s or Chipotle. HE JUST DOESNâ€™T. (But you should have had Chipotle).
Also, letâ€™s think about the huge amount of chaos and despair that is going on in the world. Letâ€™s pray for those things instead of praying â€œJulie from accounting doesnâ€™t annoy us today.â€ Maybe you annoy Julie from accounting! Ever consider that?!
2. YOU DONâ€™T NEED TO TELL EVERYONE THAT YOUâ€™RE A CHRISTIAN
Now some of you are already calling for my resignation, but hear me out. We do not need to start a conversation by saying, â€œHi, Iâ€™m Leah, and Iâ€™m a Christian.â€ There are places for that. Like AA. Or conferences. Or bumper stickers. But when the drive through person at McDonaldâ€™s says, â€œHow are you today?â€ You donâ€™t need to respond with, â€œWelp, I am too blessed to be stressed, Wanda, because God is on my side and also Iâ€™ll take a #6 no pickles.â€ Itâ€™s okay to say, â€œIâ€™m good” and end it there. You’re not losing jewels in your heavenly crown when you forget to wear your WWJD bracelet. That doesnâ€™t mean that youâ€™ve turned your back on God. It doesnâ€™t mean that youâ€™re ashamed of him. It doesnâ€™t mean that youâ€™re being in the world and trying to blend. It means that youâ€™re a normal person who wants a hamburger.
When Jesus showed up places, he wasnâ€™t like, â€œCHRIST (me) HAS ARRIVEDÂ Y’ALL!!!â€ Nah, he just kinda showed up and hung out with people. They knew him because of his lifestyle, not because of how he announced himself. So letâ€™s be normal. Normal is good. And, uh, just for the record, some of you guys might want to look at what you consider normal. So, um….yeah.
3. YOU DONâ€™T NEED TO HAVE ONLY CHRISTIAN FRIENDS
Letâ€™s get serious for a second: About 10 years ago I made the decision to no longer be a Christian, and I spent a few years kind of doing just about whatever I wanted to do. (It was fun). Now I understand that my friends changed, because thatâ€™s a part of life and that happens. People change, and you lose the common ground that you once had. But the thing that really perplexed me is that day that a Christian worship leader deleted me off of facebook because I had swearing on my page. She told everyone (except me) that she couldn’t be seen with people who acted like that, and didn’t want people knowing that we were friends in, as she was held to a higher standard. Biatch, please. Jesus hung out with prostitutes, and yeah, I might have made out with A LOT of guys, but I’m no prostitute.
That moment in time really opened my eyes to see how crappy we as Christians can make people feel.
Now Iâ€™m not saying go to the bar this weekend and scope out for new pals to watch the game with, but I am saying that itâ€™s okay to converse and have friendships with people who donâ€™t believe the exact same thing as you. They may not be your closest friend, but they can still be your friend. I mean, that is, if you wanna be like Jesus. If you donâ€™t wanna be like Jesus then by all means, isolate and alienate people who donâ€™t think how you think. Thatâ€™s effective.
4. YOU DONâ€™T NEED TO BROADCAST YOUR MORALS ON FACEBOOKÂ
If youâ€™re offended, stop here. Donâ€™t even read this one. Delete me from your friends list and excommunicate me from your iPhone, because Iâ€™m about to say something that is gonna make some of yâ€™all real upset.
We do not need to make sure that everyone knows what we believe on Facebook. Itâ€™s become this really disturbing and obnoxious thing that happens on facebook all. The. Time. People have this sick need to add their opinion anywhere and everywhere, and Iâ€™ve seen it done on the weirdest of status updates.
Status: â€œJust grabbed some stuff from the craft store for a project this weekend!â€
Comment: â€œI hope it was Hobby Lobby because they are pro-life and Michaelâ€™s supports homosexuality.â€
LikeÂ wut? Take a serious chill pill. Take 3. When did we get so political? When did we get so out of touch? We donâ€™t have to make sure everyone knows our stance on everythingâ€¦we just donâ€™t. And the need for that comes out of a place of a lot of insecurity. Do we trust God to use us? Do we trust him that he has opportunities for us to share with people about him? If we answer yes to both of those things, then what side of him are we sharing? Iâ€™m seeing a lot of rules, a lot of judgment, and a lot of â€œhurry up and repent because heâ€™s coming back soon.â€ All of those are fear based, and they are, I GUARANTEE, not persuading anyone.
Additionally, Christians boycotting stuff drives me BONKERS because they’re so selective. They’ll boycott Michael’s or Disney World or Starbucks, but I guarantee the white Christians of America will NEVER boycott Target. We can’t pick and choose. It’s all or nothing (O-Town style).
Hereâ€™s the dealio- if we want people to wonder whatâ€™s different about us, be kind. Be loving. Laugh with them. Cry with them. Celebrate with them. Mourn with them. Involve yourself in the things that concern them. Take interest in the things that interest them. Just be a normal person with a non-political, non-spiritual, non-judgemental agenda. In other words, relax.
You know why you should do that? Because I just described what God does with you.