Wednesday, July 3, 2013

When You Don't Fit In And When You Do

It's been a bit of a rough day so far.

Home was great.

Work was going great...I thought.  And then I got called into the "principal's" office.  Apparently there has been a complaint.  The whole conversation ended with, "You're a great employee, you're fast, you have a great attitude, and that's why I held off on this conversation."

It's strange.  This whole thing has me feeling a very wide range of emotions.  I'm completely caught off guard, I'm mad, I'm hurt, I'm annoyed, I'm confused. (Can my defensive side insert here that this is THE first time I've ever gotten a complaint about me?)

This lady (who complained) and I work very closely.  Remember that I'm on a learning curve (Everything here has been done the same way for the last gazillion years.  Everyone here has been here for the last gazillion years.  There isn't a whole lot of turn over.  So, when a new person comes in, they don't know how to train well) and in the past she has pointed out my errors however small they might be.  When she does, I have done my best to correct them.  So when this conversation came from my supervisor, I was shocked.  Why couldn't she just talk to me about it?

Oddly enough, something similar happened to my sister on the West Coast just yesterday.  We've been going back and forth about it.  I finally said, "You know, I love working in a Christian environment, but I feel like I fit in so much better out there."

Now, I don't want to "bad mouth" Christians.  I don't like putting people into broad generalized stereo-types.  All Christians aren't like this.  All secular work environments aren't filled with profanity and crude humor.

I guess what it comes down to is that I have a higher standard for a Christian work environment being that it is filled with Christians.

This got me thinking about "the church".

I read a blog that is all about the anti-norm in church, living in freedom, and finding healing.  She is incredibly honest about her experience in a religious culture.  (Go read her blog now...SO GOOD!)  

How many unbelievers, new believers, or members of a church do you know that think the same thing that I was thinking earlier: "I fit in so much better out there."

As Christians, we are held to a high standard.  We are to be the face of grace. So often we let that standard turn our attitudes into a "better than thou" mindset.  We too easily forget about grace.  As soon as a mistake is made, we write that person off, report it to the higher ups, or whatever.  What good does that do?  Let's not forget that we have all made a mistake a time or two as well.

Jesus died on the cross to save me just as much as he died to save you just as much as he died to save the person you're gossiping about and ultimately alienating.

I grew up in the same church my whole life.  I was comfortable.  I knew everyone.  I was on the worship team.  I was a leader in the youth group.

Now, I've moved 550 miles away from home and am starting over.  Do you know how hard it is to get on the "inside"?  I hate that there even is and "inside".

Isn't it funny how so many more of your insecurities flare up when you're in a place that's unfamiliar? (To be clear, I don't think it's funny...) Suddenly you're not engaging enough, fun enough, athletic enough, and the list goes on...

Please don't misconstrue what I am saying.  I am a member of a wonderful church.  It's very large.  Sometimes, I just think it's good to realize that there are people who want to accepted and to feel safe...just like you did when you were uncomfortable.  Do we really need to make it hard for each other to be accepted?

If we "Christians" could just remember that we are the same as everyone else, that we have been where they have been too, we all just might be able to help each other move closer to Christ.

Today, I was humbled.

I will take a slice of humble pie any day if it keeps my heart focused on my loving Jesus and on loving the people around me.


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