Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn.

Lately some curve balls have been thrown my way that have caused me to batten down the hatches on my core-self.
I'll try to explain without throwing anyone under the bus. A couple of weeks ago, I found out that a co-worker had been bad-mouthing me to other co-workers--frequently. She had no beef with me other than, apparently, finding me to be very annoying. (Join the club!) I was surprised. Not so much by her distaste for me, but by the blatant immaturity and lack of professionalism on her part. I took about 24 hours to think about the situation and asked God how I should respond to it. I wondered if there was something I needed to apologize for and if I should have a conversation with my co-worker. After reflecting and doing a little research into the comments, I knew I had not wronged her. I also knew that I couldn't control how she felt about me or what she said about me when I wasn't listening.
So I decided to continue loving God, loving myself, and loving others just as I had been but to be extra careful in loving her. It took a little reminding of the fact that God has defined me and if what He says about me is true, no one's like or dislike of me can redefine me.
Treating her with kindness seems to have diffused the situation.
But I had a sharper curve ball thrown at me after that. This one made me really consider what God is calling me to. Can I continue to reject the mindset that Christians in leadership need to "be" something in particular (namely sweet, positive, gung-ho, and perfect)? Do I need to stifle any cynicism or tendency to go against the grain? Will questioning Christian culture deter others from loving Jesus? Do I need to edit my thoughts at all times for fear of offending someone?
After countless hours of prayer and reflection, I am even more settled in my resolve that I will be who I am in Jesus Christ. Who I am in Christ is righteous despite my unrighteousness. Christ allows me to question Christian culture, to ponder authority, to go against the grain. Why? Because that's who I am. He made me this way for some reason, and whatever that reason is, whomever my life may touch, is up to Him. I am resolved to be authentic and imperfect and constantly moving forward in my relationship with God. I will go where He takes me but I will live to please Him, not fellow man (or in this case, fellow women). If I have an audience, large or small, I trust Him to use my actual life and lifestyle to minister His love, generosity, healing, and power to that audience.

Do you feel free to live your life out loud?

And on that note, I want to wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving! :)


Dena said...

Wow - It must be THAT week...did you read my blog post last week "living out loud"

it has been a struggle the past few weeks - i have been feeling attacked and anxious...

maybe it's just the holidays??

Stuart Cook said...

Good for you, Erin! If you're not going to live your life, who is? Keep it up! -- your dad