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Monday, September 12, 2011

WWJND?

I've been studying James 3 this week. "Taming the Tongue." Personally, I think it's one of the hardest chapters in the Bible.

Radical sacrifice? I'm good with that. Caring the for orphan? Check. But taming that tongue of mine? Not so much. It's been a life long struggle for me and it probably always will be.

Dan and I might be crazy but we're sure not perfect. We're sinners, in need of grace, and we mess up all the time. Especially where our big mouths are concerned. Recently, my friend Alysia, (y'all know Alysia, by the way -- she's written on the Crazy Blog a number of times) shared with me about a major mess-up. A "Christian fail" as she calls it.

I've asked Alysia to share her story below because hearing it blessed me immensely. It was a great reminder that I'm not the only one who struggles constantly occasionally. At the end of the day, we're all a mess. We all fail. And still, Jesus loves us.

So without further delay, I give you...
 WWJND?
By: Alysia C.

WWJND? No, this is not a typo. This stands for "What Would Jesus NOT Do." You've seen the cute shirts, the bracelets, the Christian fish, the WWJD letters. I don't own any of those. For me, this is probably a good thing. In getting dressed each day I really can't be sure if I'd represent Christ well if I were wearing one of these. Sometimes I feel the best thing I can do for the Gospel is lay low and go as unnoticed as possible. 
I ran an errand the other day. It was going to be a simple run to our local Farmers Market. Just an innocent trip to the grocery store to pick up some necessities before our new wee one needed to nurse again.
This was one of about 3 times I've ever left our 4 month old at home with my hubby. Little one and I have been pretty attached at the...well, not the hip...but you know what I mean. I grab my diaper bag (because I'm on kid #3 and now my diaper bag doubles as my purse) and head out.
Upon entering the market a lady approaches me to tell me she is going to have to take my bag, as they do not allow backpacks in the store. WHAT? I've been shopping here for years and I've never been hassled. I explain that it's my diaper bag, that I only have an hour to shop because I have a new baby at home, that I've never been asked to do this before, and that I had no intention of giving her my bag thank you very much. Then I walked away and headed to the organic apples.
I'm immersed in apples when I'm approached by a rather large security guard who apparently made sure he had his Wheaties that morning. He proceeds to tell me that I have to give him my bag. OK, close your eyes. Imagine me and Wheaties Man. Now picture this scene unfolding in your mind:
I tell him that I'm really disappointed that I have to do this, but I understand that it's a rule and so I'll respect it. I then hand him my bag and decide this could be a great moment to share about Christ with him. I offer to grab him a cup of coffee for his service to protect us all at the market and then I ask him if he knows the Lord.
Are you picturing it? Well that is exactly what I did NOT do. Nope.

Now close your eyes and imagine the polar opposite. Imagine a woman who has decided that this man's very attempt to take her bag represents all that is unjust in the world. I proceeded to inform Mr. Wheaties of the rampant rate of identity theft, of the fact that it should be my Constitutional right to carry my own bag through the store, that he's wasting the very little time I have to get my stinkin' apples, and that I have everything in the world I need in this bag and I have no intention of leaving it with some strangers behind the bag check counter.
He tells me to put my valuables in a plastic produce bag. We exchange more dialog that includes everyone in an 8 foot radius hearing exactly what I think about these stupid rules and how they should not apply to nursing moms who are a carrying diaper bags for purses, for crying out loud!!
Finally, I realize I'm beat and make a big, dramatic deal about emptying out everything in my bag into this little produce bag. Which involves an awful lot of slamming and huffing and puffing.
I then slam my bag down at the bag check table and give another speech to the lady that ratted me out. And proceed to call my hubby on my cell phone loudly explaining what happened and describing the involved employees as a bunch of communists.

As you can see the whole things was handled very, very poorly.
Did I turn the other cheek? Not so much. Did I act in love? Nope. Did I do what Jesus would have done? I think we all know the answer to that. This would be called a "Christian FAIL." This was definitely not a bright shining moment for me. I was not a "city on a hill", a "lamp on a table", or "salt of the earth." Instead, I was a landfill of anger, a charred match of rebellion and a dose of vinegar.
But, for reasons I may never understand on this side of Heaven, Jesus still loves me. He loves us like we really, truly are. We don't have to be perfect. We don't have to act like amazing Christians all the time. We can fail, flop, and flounder and, miraculously, we still have the hope and promises of Christ.
My petty and self-justifying response was wrong and grieving to the Lord, I'm sure. But how grateful I am that He is my Father, that He forgives me, and that He's already paid the atoning price for my sin.
I can rejoice in knowing His mercies are new every morning and leave this all behind. But, just in case...I'll leave those WWJD T-shirts behind too.

"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9   

Thank. You. Lord.

6 comments:

katie d said...

i love me some alysia c!

Lara said...

Oh, I've had my share of Christian-fail moments! I would be sort of giggling if I were a bystander to this, though.

Sophie said...

Thanks for sharing. Don't feel so bad Alysia I've been through my moments as well. You really do have every right to not want to hand over your bag, perhaps they could have checked it on your way out and and explained that next time they would have to keep it behind the counter.

It's hard to feel the stress of being a mom in a hurry to get back to the kids and having to deal with these obstacles, having said all of that, I probably would have reacted the same way.

So grateful God is very patient.

inanutshell said...

Dear, I believe you said something about fascists too. And I'd like to point out that they could very well be communists and/or fascists. However sticking to the point, Jesus loves them just as much regardless :) - Alysia's hubby

Chasity said...

Thank you both for sharing! Yep, I'm apt to fail myself. Thanks for keepin' it real. :)

Kristen said...

Ha! This is so funny to me because I unloaded on a meter man as he wrote me a parking ticket for being .32 seconds past time. It all went down last summer when I was 9+ months pregnant with our third child in 110 degree heat, and I was (and still am) positive that he was standing by my meter waiting for it to hit zero. I told him I hoped he hated his job, and hoped that he despised getting out of bed every morning because he spent his every day ruining other people's day. You're not alone. :)