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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Jesus Loves You...Everyone Else Thinks You're an Idiot

This cracks me up. I’m pretty sure it’s not meant to be a Christian T, though. And if it is, well, it’s not very edifying, even if it is kinda funny. ☺

I heard about it from a TV minister the other night. His point was that it doesn’t really matter what people think about you…Jesus loves you.

I guess in theory, I agree, but as I’ve mulled it over the past couple of days, I decided I don’t agree with it in most ways that matter. First of all, yes, it’s true Jesus loves me and His opinion matters most. But, to a degree, it also matters what other people think. Jesus grew in wisdom, stature and favor with God AND man.

We’re called to live in community with other people. Relationship is all about caring what others think and preferring them to ourselves. At least God-kind of relationships.

I’ve been in a place of isolation for a long time. Of my own design and preference that really started when I became a writer. Next to the word “introvert” in the dictionary there’s a picture of me and a caption that says, “Don’t bother this chick, she’ll ignore you anyway.” Seriously, I’d spend all my time at home alone or with my family if God hadn’t called me out of my hole.

But poking my head out for a look-see means taking the chance it’ll get blown off too. And we’re back to people and learning to live in community. It’s easier to stay away from people and not risk hurt, misunderstanding, anger, judgment, betrayal. But honestly, Jesus had to put up with all that too.

What might it have looked like if he’d been born, stayed home for thirty-three years then stepped into the temple and said, “I’m Jesus, God’s son, go ahead an kill me. It’s what I’m here for.”

I mean, we’d still be saved, but He wouldn’t have touched the lives He touched. And if we follow his life and example, it’s clear he had to withdraw from people—even his disciples—and get alone from time to time. But afterwards, he rejoined the human race and made his mark.

So, I’ve climbed out of my rabbit hole. Giving people a chance to know me and it’s scary. Because I look a lot more awesome in theory than when I start showing who I really am. The author persona looks better than the real-person reality. But I want to make a difference in my tiny world of influence. I want to ease others’ burdens and give God a chance to bring those people into my life who can help me grow. Iron sharpens Iron. But an Iron bar by itself will most likely gather dust and eventually erode.

I swear, there’s an iron-sharpens-iron person in my life I love more than I have words to express, but we can have a thirty-minute conversation and walk away with completely different versions of what we just talked about. It used to frustrate the heck out of me to the point that I avoided conversation at all cost because our lack of ability to understand a word the other was saying always left me looking bad. For no good reason.

Now, I think it’s kind of funny and also challenges me to pray HARD before every email, text, phone call or face to face with this person. I’ve figured out (I think) that it’s about our different forms of subtext. We hear the words, but interpret them in a way the other doesn’t mean based on our personalities and life experience. But I’m starting to decipher the code, I think. My inner conversation goes something like this: “Okay, Tracey, this is what he said and what you think he means, so this is probably what he REALLY means.” ☺

Giving the benefit of the doubt helps me not be hurt or frustrated. There are just people out there who don’t think like me. Go figure. I have to give more grace to those people and not call them idiots under my breath. ☺ Because, you know, I don’t want them thinking I’m an idiot either. And I can’t always just hang out with other writers so I don’t have to try as hard.

So, yeah Jesus loves you and SOME people think you’re an idiot (especially if you have teenagers), and some people think you’re more awesome than you are, and some people know the real you.

Take a chance on people. Care what they think and how they feel even if it means you might not come out looking so great in their eyes. It’s worth the risk. It really, really is.


Mary-Louise said...

I LOVE this post. I'm more awesome in theory too. That is so cool...

You are right though, people will not always like us... the good news is, as long as we continue walking in love it doesn't matter if they don't.


J M Gallagher said...

Great post. I happen to be one of those people who thinks you're awesome--and that's okay, cuz you really are.

My husband and I finished II Cor today where Paul talks about glorying in our limitations. As a huge people pleaser, I'm thinking "How do you do that?" The last thing I want to do is even admit that I can't do it all. But I think your post exemplifies this. It's a great reminder to not deny the world the touch God intended you to make.

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