- 7 years ago
- Wedding: December 2004
I am a Christian who has recently faced a lot of criticism because I work with prostituted women. A friend of a friend (and formerly a friend of mine) said that I am not spiritual or godly because I am not “like other women she knows”. I am very offended by her statements, which come to find out she has not “approved” of me since she met me. I have tried just let it go, but because of the fact that I have children and she says my choices (helping prostitutes and trying to show love to people other christians reject) will negatively influence my girls, I can’t seem to let this go. I am thinking about mailing this to her.
I am going to tell a story about my experience. You might appreciate my honesty and authenticity but you might be offended by my honest and authenticity. I can honestly say, for the first time in a long time, that I couldn’t care less either way. You see, I grew up knowing who I am and being okay with that. The problem is that somewhere along the line, me being authentic to who I am became an issue with other people. Life has taught me that people and especially women, are supposed to be spineless compromisers who say all the ”right things”. In Christian circles this is exponentially more obvious. The consequences of not playing along with this stereotypical ideal are brutal. Dare to not fit into the mold and you will be called unspiritual, ungodly, brash, insubordinate, and other not the nice things. I wasn’t born doubting myself and I didn’t start my journey feeling insecure about who God created me to be, but years and years of constant and chronic judgement and disapproval will and in fact did take their toll. The result was a painful and self doubting reality where every interaction was accompanied with a no-win dilemma. I could choose authenticity and again hear that I am too this or not enough that or I could choose to smile and say the “right thing” and be allowed to be acceptable to others while selling my integrity for their approval.
The truth is, I don’t believe that I have to be a mealy-mouthed sell-out to be inside of God’s will for my life. I resent the hell out of playing semantics with religious, self-righteous Pharisees. If God created me the way I am, who on earth has the right to tell me that I am not okay the way I am? Perhaps, me being me is not the problem at all. Perhaps me being me makes it difficult for other people to maintain their position at the top of the spiritual hierarchy. You see, if God cares about the condition of our heart and not our diplomacy skills that could be an uncomfortable truth. If God is less concerned about us using the “right words” than he is about our willingness to confront injustice that could reflect poorly on those who refuse to say the unpopular thing. If the person of Jesus is in fact reflected in the life of someone willing to boast in their weakness what does that say about someone who appears perfect through their own eyes?
I am by no means saying I am perfect and not in need of continual forgiveness and repentance. What I am saying is that 2000 years ago Jesus said unpopular things to people who believed that they were the spiritual elite. This is the same Jesus that invested his life in people who had scandalous pasts, people who were honest and authentic although not particularly politically correct, and invited them to share eternity with Him. Jesus also called the self-described “spiritual people” snakes and asked them how they hoped to escape Hell. It is not my place to judge. It is simply my job to point out what Jesus said. You will have to excuse me if I don’t care what you think about my choice of words or the way I do things. If this has to be a popularity contest, I choose Jesus.