Why We Try to Hide Our Imperfections (And Why We Shouldn’t)

Why We Try to Hide Our Imperfections (And Why We Shouldn’t)

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A few months ago, a young woman I’ve known all her life looked at me and said, “What’s that on your face?”

She’s the bold, outspoken type, so her question didn’t shock me, but I said, “What particular blemish are you talking about?”

“The hole in your cheek!”

“Oh, you mean the pockmark?”

Suddenly it dawned on her; I just pointed out a pitted scar left by a pimple on my pastor’s face!

I chuckled and said, “It’s okay, I embrace my flaws.”

Awkward for her.

Not so much for me.

Why do we try to hide our imperfections? It’s a great question.

Perhaps it’s because we fear rejection. Maybe it’s that we think more highly of ourselves than we ought. Of course, we could just be afraid of scaring small children.

Whatever the reason, there is a freedom that comes in our relationships when we know we are loved regardless of our flaws.

Silhouette of an in love couple with 2 heart balloons.

Frankly, at my age, you do one of two things when it comes to your appearance:

  • Spend a lot of time and money on hiding your blemishes.

  • Accept the reality that you are far from perfect and it’s okay.

I choose to accept my imperfections.

One of my favorite Brennan Manning quotes is, “Be who you is, or you is who you ain’t.”

In other words, when we try to be something or somebody we are not, we compromise and lose who we truly are.

B. Manning Quote

I have scars.

Blemishes.

Thinning, silver hair and a growing belly.

Of course, I bathe, shave, apply deodorant, floss, and attempt to exercise and watch what I eat. By no means am I suggesting we just let ourselves go.

However . . .

No matter what I do, I still have scars, spots, warts and a pockmark or two. As long as I’m in this earth-suit, I must face the reality of an aging and less-than-perfect body (and mind, obviously).

It’s been a long time since someone has called me eye candy.

Here’s another shocker.

I’m dying.

Every breath I take is one less breath I’ll have in this frame.

Every second I experience is one less moment I’ll have on this side of eternity.

And every compressed vertebra, lost or random added hair (I didn’t know hair can grow on the outside of your nose), and every single imperfection reminds me that this is all temporary. This earth is not my home. This body is but a shell of the man I will become one day.

So I can worry about the temporary and waste an inordinate amount of time and money on trying to avoid the inevitable, or I can choose to live with eternity in mind.

Eternity

I choose eternity.

Someone once said to me, “You Christians live with the delusion of a better life and of a better time to come when this is it; this is all there is.”

I smiled and said, “It’s not a delusion, it’s hope. It’s not escapism or about being distracted by the unpleasant realities of this life through fantasy. It’s believing that Jesus meant it when He said, “I’m preparing a place for you,” and it’s a far better place.

You see, I’m not discouraged by my present realities. I’m not frustrated by my current imperfections. The old and rusty face I see in the mirror doesn’t scare me.

Why?

Because I know I am loved and that this life is not the end of the story.

I’m due for an upgrade someday.

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2 Responses to Why We Try to Hide Our Imperfections (And Why We Shouldn’t)

  1. Being an “oldie” myself, I love this, Kurt, and will think of it when I look in the mirror and wonder who that old person is who is looking back at me. A good reminder to not be so concerned about the inevitable results of aging in this temporary life.

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How to Handle Trolls, Bullies, and Modern-Day Pharisees! (4 Ways to Respond Rather than React)

How to Handle Trolls, Bullies, and Modern-Day Pharisees! (4 Ways to Respond Rather than React)
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Blogging is weird.

I recently wrote a post about tattoos, and it went viral (at least on my website). In fact, at this point, it’s the second most-read blog I’ve ever written. I didn’t see that coming.

Sometimes I write something that I consider to be pretty good (of course, I’m biased), and I’m lucky if my wife and mom read it.

Other times I compose something fairly light-hearted and fun, and it goes crazy in the blogosphere. Go figure.

Regardless of what I write, you’d be surprised at how often I get an extremely mean comment or two (or twenty). For some reason, people think they can get away with verbal bullying and downright rudeness on that thing called the interwebs.

Way too often, stuff that might get you punched in the face if you said it to someone within range of a fist gets verbally vomited onto the comment section of a blog or Facebook.

Okay, so you don’t like what I said. Fine. You disagree. I get it. You don’t like what I wrote, and you probably don’t like me. I can deal with that reality.

However, are rude, unkind, and mean words ever acceptable?

Nope.

Troll Anger Words

Even so, a woman screamed at me by using all caps and lots of exclamation points and wrote this comment about my tattoo blog: “TATTOOS DEFACE THE TEMPLE OF GOD! YOU ARE A LIBERAL COMPROMISER AND NOT A TRUE MAN OF GOD!!!!!!”

Ouch.

I wanted to respond, “Seriously? Do you wear makeup? Do you wear jewelry? Do you have pierced ears? Do you color your hair? Are you overweight? Just to be clear, that’s definitely not the way God made you, and perhaps those things deface the temple?”

However, I didn’t respond and I didn’t challenge her. I’m sure it wouldn’t have made a difference to someone acting like a modern-day Pharisee.

Without a doubt, we live in a culture in which we hear verbal ugliness all the time. Have you watched any political debates recently or listened to talk radio? But my momma (who might be the only one reading this right now) taught me this: If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all!

Troll Anything Nice

Wise words.

Here are some prudent words from another wise person: “The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” Proverbs 12:18 (NIV)

Words can cut others to shreds, or words can heal.

I’m for healing.

So how should we respond to trolls (a term used to describe people who troll the web looking for a fight), bullies, and modern-day Pharisees?

4 Ways to Respond Rather than React

  • Listen first. There might be something you and I can learn. Even non-constructive criticism can be helpful at times if we listen with a humble heart.

Troll Bench

  • Refuse to over REACT! In fact, under react. Only a fool is quick to quarrel. Adding my mean words to their mean words never ends well. Even if my response is kind and my explanation rational and reasonable, trolls love to fight, and they tend not to listen or care. Consequently, I often choose not to respond or to comment on their comment. It’s just butter! (A reference to this post).

  • Ignore or delete the harsh, bad-mannered, or unjust comments. If someone’s words were harmful to me, they’re probably damaging to others too. My website and my social media accounts are mine. I’m responsible for the content (what a concept), and if I don’t like something, I can delete it without shame. That’s not censorship; it’s boundary maintenance. I don’t limit the other person’s right to free speech, but I protect my own boundaries.

Troll Listen Pray

Ask any author or blogger—putting your stuff out there is risky. People can be ruthless, and civility is a disappearing art. I try to be as transparent and genuine as possible, but sometimes that bites me in the buttocks.

It’s okay. Life goes on. And maybe, just maybe, God uses the humble and often flawed words of this broken man to bring a bit of healing to others who are perfectly imperfect, just as I am.

So I write on.

Thanks for reading.

Looking for your next read? Check out my books on Amazon.

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28 Responses to How to Handle Trolls, Bullies, and Modern-Day Pharisees! (4 Ways to Respond Rather than React)

  1. Thanks for the encouragement, Kurt. And thanks for continually sharing your insights and the thoughts God places on your heart. The messages in your books and your blog posts are ample evidence you are a follower of God.

  2. what a timely post…and VERY well said. Thank you for the reminders which I FEEL I need every day..I have printed out this post and will put in a spot for reflection.

  3. Brilliant! Sorry you got bit by a religious spirit. Glad you know you are loved and know how to fight those battles correctly!!! Proud of you friend. Many blessings to you as you bless others.

  4. So sorry you had to endure hurtful comments on your blog, Kurt, but it can, and does, happen from time to time. Personally, I thought your post on tattoos was fun and light-hearted. It’s so good to be able to read things that make me chuckle and put a smile on my face.
    Thanks for the blessing of your writing!

  5. Kurt,I read your blog and enjoyed it. You always write from your heart. I am sorry some people think they have a right to trash someone. Words do hurt,but keep on writing as most all of us enjoy your blogs. My mamma said the same words as you and it is a good way to live :0)

  6. Your momma was right and you learned the lesson well. Glad you are helping move that message along because there are way too few parents that have taken the time to pass along those words of wisdom. Love having a Pastor that tells it like it is and is someone we can relate to. God Bless you! I know he already has. 🙂

  7. Pastor Kurt. This may not apply to this article, but, I find that there are way to many “Christian Bullies” in church leadership and leadership teams. They talk behind peoples back (Gossip), are prideful and refuse to admit when they have crossed a boundary line and have hurt people with their comments, think they know what’s best for other people and make decisions as to what they are going to do…, and the big one for me is, “They are always right” and fail to admit when they are wrong… “Self-Righteous – Always Right People”

    This has been my experience with some people I serve under and with in church. I just don’t get it. I have good boundaries and know what is inside my fence or property to own for myself. And when I tell these people they have crossed over my boundary line and are hurting me with their negative and rude attitude, things get really out of whack and the simple real offense gets shoved aside and things get way out of hand.

    Unfortunately, the church leadership seems to be OK with this kind of behavior, and is condoning it within their leadership ranks. There’s even Passive-Aggressive behavior by some on the team. They’ll say one thing just to pacify the moment, then turn-around and do whatever they want, because they are always right and know what’s best anyway.

    I guess it all gets down to the fact that we live in a fallen world, and even more to the point, we are a fallen people and have sin in our lives. I thought Christ came so we may be free indeed… This freedom doesn’t give us the license to injure and hurt other Christian Brothers and Sisters we serve with…

    • So true. So sad. That being said, ultimately, we can only be responsible for our words and our attitude. VERY grateful for God’s grace and mercy. He loves us…broken as we are…and so much, He keeps working on our character. Thanks for adding to the conversation, Ben. You are loved.

  8. Blows me away and is sad that you got harsh feedback on the tattoo blog. I loved it, and I don’t have tattoos. Partially because I’m chicken, but also because I grew up in a church where tattoos, piercings, jewelry (unless part of your clothing) was “a sin”. Not that I still believe that; it’s just old habits and… stereotypes can be hard to overcome. But now I think of it as having been “an infant in Christ” then, only able to handle milk, but now being mature enough for solid food. I guess tattoos are their “unclean meat” or tax collector. Most people have problems controlling their tongue, but as “Christians”, sad that they’re forgetting to love as Jesus loved. Blessings to you. Truly enjoy the blogs.

  9. I liked your Tattoo blog and I like the way you handle the mean comments. “Listen, pray, chill, delete” is VERY helpful. I had a lady go off on me on our neighborhood site because I said I’m in favor of VRBO’s (vacation rentals by owner). I followed your advice and did not respond to her mean spirit.

    Thanks Kurt!

  10. Thanks for your four point plan to respond to “assaults via comments.” I needed that for a future blog, web page or social media site.

    I bet it works for verbal attacks too with practice. I hate confrontations so this was very helpful. Talk about an avenue ripe for developing self-control!

    Praying that any negative attacks are already forgotten as soon as your finger contacts the delete button!

    God bless you! Love your blog!

  11. We love you, Kurt! I don’t know why the internet, which is really just another tool for us to use, encourages folks to think it’s suddenly okay to stop keeping a civil tongue (or typing fingers). I suppose the bigger problem is in some not keeping a civil heart. In all likelihood, that lady would have kept the incivility in her heart anyway, even if she never expressed it to you. The internet gave her a path to get it out, and maybe there’s good to be found there. Maybe she’s reading this now, rethinking her actions. Maybe she isn’t, and has left for good. Hopefully, though, SOMEBODY (my All-Caps) will read this blog and think about what they can do to make their own heart a bit more civil. We desperately need more civility. That’s one of my top prayers. Don’t be discouraged – you win way more than you lose.

  12. Hi Kurt,

    I am continually blessed and challenged by your blogs! I don’t comment a lot, but I read all of them usually! You continue to help me see God’s grace and love in a whole new light! For that I am sincerely grateful! I have found it so freeing to let go of judgemental attitudes and accept His Grace and extend it to others!

    Write on “Kurt” with His Truth and Strength! We love you!

  13. As I read, I realize how quirky we are as humans. We grow up with a bag full of rules and expect that others know our rules and abide by them. What folly. Christ gave us the basics. Love the Lord your God with all your heart. Love your neighbor as yourself. Then repeat. Then repeat again.

    You remind me that when we express ourselves, no matter what the subject, our comments are not going to be approved by by everyone. It takes courage to write and speak. It takes strength to know that God’s opinion and love is what counts. Bless you as you continue to do what God has called you to do.

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Tattooed (and Why It REALLY DOESN’T Matter)

Tattooed (and Why It REALLY DOESN’T Matter)

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At a recent gathering of Christians, one of the guys noticed I have a half sleeve tattoo. The look on his face was shock bordering on judgment.

“Why would you do that?” he said.

“Because I like art! In fact, I have three tattoos, and I’m probably not done.”

While shaking his head, he said, “Seems like a waste of money and an ugly blemish on God’s creation, if you ask me.”

I couldn’t help but notice he held in his hand a $4 drink from Starbucks, was wearing $100 jeans, and was a bit overweight.

“We all make choices based on what we do or don’t value,” I said with a smile.

“Yeah, but, Christians shouldn’t value what the world values” was his curt reply.

TATTOO Woman on Bike

I thought about going nose-to-nose with him and upping the debate by saying something terse about his over-priced coffee and jeans (a potential reflection of worldly values) and his over-stocked gut (a bit of a blemish), but I decided it was best just to walk away.

For the record, my tattoos are not demonic. There’s no skull and crossbones. No naked women. I don’t have a tattoo with an old girlfriend’s name.

It’s just art—meaningful symbols to me that tell a part of my life story.

I’ve heard the arguments.

I’m very well aware of the biblical passage so often quoted to me by my “holier” friends. The biblical argument I hear most often is, “Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the Lord.”

Of course, when I point out that this passage refers to a pagan practice and not body art, I get a condescending smirk. When I gently suggest that if they’re going to literally apply that verse, then they’d better obey the verse directly before it that says, “Do not cut the hair at the sides of your head or clip off the edges of your beard.”

TATTOO Young guy

For the record, the moral principles in Leviticus 19 do apply to Christians. We shouldn’t participate in pagan practices. However, there’s nothing morally wrong with cutting your hair or getting a tattoo unless you are engaging in heathen rituals. (Go ahead, do a study of that passage. You’ll see my point.)

The more biblically astute usually go next to Paul’s admonition in Romans 12 not to conform to the pattern of this world. And again, I absolutely agree we should not be molded into the shape of the world around us nor to allow the culture to determine our values.

However, Paul is specifically addressing a godless system of worldly lusts. The principle here is to avoid allowing our minds to be polluted by a corrupt culture and to be transformed in our minds by Christ.

Can an argument be made to include tattoos as a part of a godless culture? Perhaps. But where do we draw the line? Who gets to determine what is godless and what is not?

Uh, God.

When and where God clearly states something is a sin, like adultery or divisiveness, we must comply. But when the Bible is not explicit, you don’t get to be the judge. Sorry.

By the way, the Amish use Romans 12 to make their argument against modern conveniences and cars. How’s that Amish thing working for you?

TATTOO Happy Woman

So let’s get to the real issue.

We Christians, and I do include myself in that we, too often focus on things of personal preference and make them a litmus test of fellowship with others. We tend to judge others by our personal standards to determine the measure of another’s spiritual maturity. We often evaluate by the outward appearance rather than by that which really matters—the heart.

You don’t have to like tattoos. My mother wonders why her son and daughter have tats.

You don’t have to agree with me about everything. You don’t even have to like me.

However . . .

There are much bigger issues to get fired up over. Maybe problems like poverty and homelessness or the fact that 63 million people (1 in 10 on the planet) don’t have access to clean drinking water; perhaps these matters are more important than tattoos.

TATTOO Clean Water

Maybe seeing eye-to-eye about every debatable topic isn’t nearly as important as loving others and treating them the way God has treated you. Perhaps we should focus more on unity than on our diversity. What might happen if we Christians were to demonstrate a profound level of unity to a watching world like that which Jesus prayed for in John 17?

Opinions are good. With free will comes the right to choose what matters to you, or doesn’t. Personal preferences are permitted in the Kingdom of God regarding a whole boatload of topics. It’s okay that we don’t see eye-to-eye on everything.

That being said, things like love, forbearance, kindness, goodness, and so on, are not optional.

Not now. Not ever.

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance,

kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. 

Against such things there is no law.

Galatians 5:22-23  (NIV)

Cross and eternity symbol on my left arm.
Cross and eternity symbol on my left arm.
My half sleeve on the right arm.
My half sleeve on the right arm with “Stay the Course” on the front and “Psalm 31” on the inside.
Tattoo Mine Compass Rose
My first tattoo done many years ago on my back shoulder with my life verse.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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44 Responses to Tattooed (and Why It REALLY DOESN’T Matter)

  1. Well said, Kurt. It’s the Matthew 7:3 syndrome. We all could use reading that every single day. Thanks for your words of wisdom.

  2. Thanks Kurt. So well put, as always. While I tend to agree with Mom, that is only my OPINION. BTW, how did the tattoo artists respond to your tats? Just wondering. As I am nosy AND opinionated.

  3. Kurt,
    Great article and appropriate for our time for sure. I don’t have any tattoos, but I like to use Rev 19:16 when confronted with the tattoo question.
    Furthermore, if you use the Lev arguement, and you accept the fact that Jesus did indeed allow himself to be whipped and hung on the cross, (he could have called 10000 angels) one could argue what He did was in fact wrong. But the point is in fact that, that passage was clearly addressing Pagan rituals.

    Just a Thought

  4. I do think that needles and ink weren’t meant to be imbedded in our skin. Funny how heroin use is up and so are the number of tattoos people are getting today. When I was growing up I only ever saw a few on some old guys.Styles change and what people think is cool and relevant changes. It’s kind of hard to change tatoo isn’t it?

    • I think some people just get a tat because they this it’s cool or trendy…for me, it really is about telling my story. Thanks for sharing a bit of yours, Larissa.

  5. Hi Kurt, thank you for these words. I couldn’t find Lev. 28 …Another important information about tatoos: the ink rest in your body and seems to be very unhealthy – in german TV there was a report about the danger of cancer recently.
    But I like the main thought of your post!

    • My bad! It should have said Lev. 19:28. Thanks for the correction. It’s possible ink isn’t good for your system, but then again, diet cokes are bad too, and pizza, and . . . lots of things done in excess. Thank you for your input and kindness.

  6. I think it’s important that parents inform theirs kids about dangers (too much junkfood, smoking, ,,,as well). I’m glad having found your blog. God bless You.

  7. Thank you Kurt for bringing clarity on a topic I have struggled with for the past several years. I have many tattoos including a leg sleeve. Each piece of art represents one of my children or grandchildren, they love their special ink spot! I also have a tat that represents my life verse, Psalm 41:12. This single tattoo has allowed me to answer hundreds if not thousands of times the question, “what does that, mean?” I have a captive audience and THEY started the conversation!! I highly doubt God is going to judge me negatively for my choice of witnessing tools.

  8. I once met a man who had a Mohegan hairstyle. I probably did not spell that correctly. It was enormous and was all the colours of the rainbow. In fact he looked like a thug. However, all of us present were there for a bible study and he led it. He led it very well indeed. I expect however that he encountered difficulty in a lot of churches. Did God accept him? Yes. Did I accept him? You bet I did.

  9. I think your tattoos are truly classy (and Christian)!
    Thanks for reminding us that it’s okay for us as Christians to disagree with one another, but it’s not okay to be judgmental.
    Blessings, Kurt!

    • It was sad to see how many negative and mean Facebook comments I got on one blogging site where (apparently) the commenters failed to read the last paragraph. Thanks for the kindness, Martha.

  10. So when I was locked up I seriously avoided getting a tattoo of my son who passed away because of Lev. 19. I I WAS locked up for crimes and that’s were I landed…haha! Our church has lots of color and I love it. Even the ones someone got in a dark place. It’s part of their story that God is writing every moment. Still don’t have a tat but it’s more because I didn’t take the time:)

  11. I appreciate the perspective Kurt. Although I never really felt horribly convicted about my one little shamrock tat, I have always felt a little twinge of guilt. Your insight helped finally lay that to rest. I never even knew you had any ink. Thanks for sharing – and especially for putting this relatively minor issue into perspective with the TRULY important things.

  12. My favorite quote in this post: “Who gets to determine what is godless and what is not? Uh, God” 1 Samuel 16:7 “people judge the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart”, reminds me of a family who attended our church. The dad of the family used to be a heroine addict and was tattooed. He said he felt comfortable coming in because others had tattoos and he and his family still follow Christ today. Just think if all of us had our sins somehow “tattooed” on the outside, would we be able to love each other and see each other as Christ calls us to? Even our best is as filthy rags. We’re all equal at the foot of the cross. I’m sure Jesus could tell a really cool parable about tats…

  13. As a christian mom and blogger, I get a lot of those looks too about my tattoos! I’m so happy to see that others share my point of view about them! I currently have 8, with my newest being 2 weeks old. This is beautiful

  14. Thanks for the post on tattoo’s Kurt. I just got my first tattoo, and it is very meaningful to me. As you know, my youngest son just took his own life, so I got a tattoo to memorialize him and his life/death. There is nothing evil or bad about it, it’s a picture of a broken heart and reads, Never to mend until I see you again RIP my son Dustin. With his birth date and date of his death. I do not see anything wrong with it. I think what’s important about tattoo’s is the meaning behind them. I’ve seen some of the most uplifting tattoo’s that were beautiful. By the way Kurt, I love yours! Thanks for sharing this with us. If it is a sin to get a tattoo, I say let him who is without sin cast the first stone! Shame on the people who judge us. It’s not their place.

  15. I love that cross/eternity symbol one! Really cool-looking. 🙂 I see no reason to oppose customizing our temporary Earth-suits if we want, but I personally will stick to no more than the no-needle press-on variety!

    • Funny, Kurt, I’ve got a buddy who HATES needles and he would call a tattoo “torture”!
      So true about our bodies being “temporary earth-suits”. Someone accused me of “defacing the temple” (my body), but good “art” adds value to this temple! Interesting how that same person has pierced ears and colored hair, and that’s okay, but a tattoo is not. Seems a bit inconsistent to me. 🙂

  16. Kurt – This is a great post. I know lots of people with tats and lots of people who are judgmental about them. You make some very good points and I hope I can remember some of them the next time I hear a condescending remark about someone’s body art (or hair or piercings or clothing for that matter).

  17. Kurt.

    Many people in this life, even other Christians, simply do not share our values. It is really a sad commentary that the pews are full on Sunday and that is the most “Christian” thing they will do this week.

    I believe that if each of them would simply do 1 Godly thing this week, the world would be a better place. And, you would see revival!

    OH HEY… BTW… After 3 years of separation and divorce Sheri and I have reconciled our marriage. We are back together. Equally amazing is that she now feels God calling her to go to Guatemala with us to work with La Mision!

    How Amazing Is God!

    Acts 20: 24

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A Violent Desecration (and How to Get Over It)

A Violent Desecration (and How to Get Over It)

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She came in like she was on PCP (or way too much caffeine). I couldn’t believe her rudeness. She was vicious, furious, and brutal. It was as if my home were being invaded by Viking hordes or shaken to its foundation by a powerful earthquake.

Butter Vikings

If I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes, I wouldn’t have believed it, but what she did will forever be etched into my brain.

Everybody knows that when you take butter from the cube, you don’t desecrate it by cutting a huge hole in the middle! For Pete’s sake, cultured adults know how to delicately take a slice from one end or the other and, preferably, from the same end that’s already been used.

I was shocked. It will be a cold day in Hades before I let her into my kitchen again. This travesty was similar to the time I caught our cat eating the butter cube. That time I think I threw up in my mouth.

Butter Pic 2

Okay. You might be thinking, Bubna, you’ve lost it! And trust me, I did for a second or two. Then this ridiculous thought fluttered through my brain: Maybe it doesn’t matter, or it’s not that big of a deal.

Of course, a mutilated butter cube isn’t anything to lose sleep over, but isn’t it funny how we let little things get under our skin?

I know this “butter massacre” wasn’t truly an act of violence. Not for a second do I want to make light of the life-threatening brutality happening in our world.

My point is simply this: Sometimes we make a lot out of a little (notice how I avoided the mountain/molehill cliché?).

Butter mole-hill-1

Sometimes we go ballistic over silly things that just don’t matter.

  • Okay, so your kid left his socks on the floor—again—but life will go on.

  • Yeah, he forgot to put the toilet seat down for the 100th time, but is it worth a meltdown?

  • She left the car for you—on empty. Guess you’ll have to get some gas and choose to be grateful for the millions of good things she does for you.

  • Sure, nobody likes to get treated poorly by someone who is supposedly in customer service, but perhaps you should be kind nonetheless.

Lots of us are famous for losing the bigger picture way too often. We get so focused on the things we want, and we get grumpy when things don’t go our way.

If you’ve ever tried to sleep in a tent with a mosquito, you know that occasionally, little things do matter. However, more often than not, we’ve blown something completely out of proportion.

Five things to do when your “butter” is violated:

  1. Stop and ask one simple question: Will this matter in a week, a year, or ten years from now? Probably not. So why damage a relationship, something that always matters?

  1. Pick your battles carefully. Fight for justice. Fight for equality. Fight for life. However, fighting with your teenager over a nose ring or sagging pants might be foolish. Lots of things are a matter of personal taste rather than an issue of sin or national security.

Butter Sagging Pants

  1. Remember how many times you’ve pushed someone else’s button. The best way to give mercy and grace is to bring back to mind the number of times you’ve been the recipient of unmerited kindness.

  1. Develop a servant’s heart, which involves putting the needs of others before your own. I had put the butter out for my friend, and she got what she needed (even if I didn’t like the way she met her need). A servant serves. Period.

  1. Acknowledge the fact that most of your pet peeves became an issue because you have issues. As a child, I was forced to live with ridiculous standards in an environment that demanded perfection. The “butter problem” is my problem with perfectionism, not her problem with a knife.

Butter Two Diff Shoes

I write about relationships. A lot. Because relationships matter. A lot. What is important is the connection and friendship I have with a dear friend, not my butter cube. It’s long gone. She’s not.

Anything tick you off recently?

Maybe that thing is just a thing, and you would do well to walk through the five steps I’ve outlined above.

It might just be butter.

Butter_with_a_butter_knife

Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.

Psalm 34:14 (NIV)

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8 Responses to A Violent Desecration (and How to Get Over It)

  1. AWESOME!!!! I had just finished your Devotional for grace filled living…I used it as an “extra” along with my bible study in the am’s..let me tell you Mr. Bubna…I LOVED it!!! I was sad when I got to the end..I might just start over with my continue bible study. I really do like the way you write and please PLEASE continue because this imperfect person cant always speak what your writing and it matches perfectly!
    Thank you sir.

  2. Awesome awareness of what is really important and what a wonderful way to communicate the over reaching importance of relationship. Relationships are what last or go away over so many unimportant issues.

    God Bless you and your work Kurt.

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