The Pastor really said that!
So, I started a rough draft on paper for the first time. I was thinking about the service and was pretty convinced it followed the service from last Sunday pretty closely. The more I wrote and referenced my notes, the more I realized I was wrong. Now my paper rough draft is pretty much trash. I guess I do my best work on the fly!
By the way, I figured out I’ve been using the wrong terminology! He’s an Associate Pastor, not a Junior Pastor.
Okay, okay, the service!
Last week focused on why normal isn’t working and how what society perceives as weird is what we should be doing. Biblically speaking, it focused on society being on the wide road to destruction and those who are doing right, or what’s considered weird, are on a narrow path to life. (Matthew 7:13-14) This week focused on our interactions with those around us. Our desire for approval from others and their reactions tempting us away from the “narrow path.”
I believe it was one of the first things the Pastor said and I like it a lot: Stop living to please people. He referenced Proverbs 29:25 which says “Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but trusting the Lord means safety.” At least my Bible says that, I have a NLV Bible, there’s no thous and heretos. I stopped living to please other people a long time ago. By a long time I mean eight years ago. Well, in August it’ll be eight years. Funny how I can put an exact timestamp on when it happened. I suppose the story of how it happened is better left for another day to keep myself from going off on a tangent. Anywho! The Pastor had the perfect example for why you shouldn’t live to please people, follow what’s trending on Twitter. It changes so often, you’d barely be acceptable at doing whatever is trending before it changed to something else. Of course, you’ll also have to remember that for everything trending, there’s also a group of people who absolutely loathe whatever it is.
A couple personal examples of my inability to please everyone: Some Christians, upon finding out I don’t believe, like to tell me exactly where I’m going. Some Atheists, upon finding out I go to church and support my son’s faith, like to tell me I’m allowing people to brainwash my kid. I get it about how I raise my son in general, too. He has a bedtime, I don’t let him watch TV (Although he likes to go to friends’ houses to sneak in some TV,) I don’t let him go wherever he wants and he rarely eats candy (I sacrifice myself and eat 98% of his holiday candy.) My mother-in-law is great about it all! He has fun with her while still maintaining an acceptable weekend bedtime, he doesn’t watch disgusting cartoons (i.e. Uncle Grandpa, Adventure Time, SpongeBob,) and while she occasionally gives him candy, he primarily eats healthy food at her house. She thinks it’s great! He’s pretty well-behaved for an eight year old. My mother, that’s another story! She’d let him stay up until he dropped from exhaustion, watch TV until his eyeballs fell out of his head, and stuff himself with disgusting “food” until he looked like the blueberry girl from Willy Wonka if I let him visit her! She thinks I’m too strict, I should let her be the wild and fun, no rules grandma she wants to be. I’m okay with whomever might have a problem with the way I raise my son. You’re not the one who will stand up later on in life and claim the responsibility for having raised him. You’re not the person who will have to harbor the guilt and the what ifs if he grows up to be a bad person. I’m doing my best to raise a man who will positively impact the world around him and that’s all that matters.
I think a good question for people pleasers is: Why let others be the appraiser on the value of your life? They’re not living in your shoes, don’t let them set the bar for how comfortable it is to walk in them. If you believe, and as the Pastor said, you’re the one who will have to stand on judgement day and answer for the life you lived. Are you comfortable being judged for the things you’ve done to please other people? Even if you don’t believe, you’re the one who is going to have to lay down every night and go to sleep with the memories of what you’ve done. Can you sleep at night knowing what you’ve done to please other people?
Another thing he said was, “Don’t worry when people criticize you, worry when they don’t, because you’re fitting in too well.” That’s a powerful statement, I think you should take moment and read it again. It’s ok, I’ll wait……………………. Did you read it again? Let that sink in? Do you do things differently enough that people criticize you? I also don’t think it has to be taken literally, people don’t need to openly criticize you for it to apply. People will hide things they’re doing from you when they know you don’t agree with their idea of what’s acceptable. It’s passive aggressive criticism. Whether it’s open or passive aggressive, it’s ok. It could even be described as good. That means you’re doing something right that they aren’t willing to do. I think that’s the motive for the criticism: You’re accomplishing something they weren’t/aren’t willing to put in the effort to accomplish.
While I typically don’t fit in, it’s admittedly not always because of my “superior” moral code. I’ve shaved my head, I have lots of tattoos and piercings, and I’ve been known to have a foul mouth… The good I’ve done in this world outside of my family is pretty limited to giving what cash I can to the homeless and helping dogs as much as I can. I’d like to think I have a higher standard for how I think I and those around me should behave, but I couldn’t definitively tell you. I’m kind of a recluse. I don’t like people in general. I suppose I’m jaded, but I expect everyone to have an ulterior motive. I’d rather watch people than interact with them. I haven’t decided if I’m going to stray and post some kind of mid-week blog about me in particular or if I’ll simply elaborate on my “author’s page” to possibly address my lack of fondness for people.
Back to being weird!! I found the perfect picture for this week!