This blog is a spoof on advertisements for the institutional church. It is not a critique of individual people. It is a critique of a system. The fine print is very fine, on purpose. I hope you get the message – even if you can’t read it…
- Three years ago, as a church employee (administrative assistant), I was fired because I posted blogs that challenge the doctrine of eternal torment. I found out the hard way that church employees are not protected with the same rights as other employees when it comes to freedom of religion.
- Even though the termination of my employment was unrelated to job performance, I still have to answer “Yes” on job applications that ask whether my employment has ever been terminated.
- Today, I found out that I’ve been “red flagged” by the Orange County Public Schools online application system and that I must provide a letter of explanation from an administrator on company letterhead within seven days, or I can kiss my chances of getting a teaching job goodbye until I can navigate through who-knows-how-much red tape to explain to a real live human being that the “company” is a church that no longer exists.
- I have a clear conscience before God that I did the right thing writing those blog posts and answering “Yes” on my job application.
- Anyone who hires me doesn’t need to worry about me being dishonest.
- I have the opportunity to trust (again) that God knows exactly what He’s doing.
Many believers mistakenly misapply the words of Christ and find themselves in situations where they feel compelled to trust someone who has repeatedly broken their trust.
Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”
“No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven.”
Forgiving someone over and over again is what God expects of those who hope to do what Christ does. But trusting that person is something entirely different. For what reason do many believers mistakenly misapply the seventy-times-seven concept, continually trusting people who obviously cannot be trusted? Ignorance.
- lacking knowledge or information as to a particular subject or fact (example – ignorant of quantum physics).
- uninformed; unaware.
- Don’t be ignorant about the difference between forgiveness and trust.
- Forgive, if you haven’t already.
- Ask God to give you direction in setting healthy boundaries that will ultimately benefit both you and the repeat offender. These boundaries vary, depending on the severity of the offenses.
- Never give up hope. We are all works in progress.
- Be aware that God, at some point in the future, might call you to take the emotional risk of trusting once again.
The week before last:
- I received an award for “Outstanding Writer in the Community.”
- I was invited and paid to attend a meeting with the National Center for Creative Aging.
- I was invited to have lunch with the founder of the Pabst Charitable Foundation for the Arts.
- Many people congratulated me for graduating, I was treated to dinner and received gifts.
- A road-rage driver clipped the front of my car as I entered the left-hand turn lane. He was behind me and decided to use the turn lane (and the median) to pass me. I noted his plate number as he sped off and reported the incident as a hit-and-run, even though it only left scrape on my car and I wasn’t injured.
- The officer said, “Maybe he didn’t know he hit you. There are no witnesses. There’s nothing I can do about this.” I assured the officer that he knew exactly what he was doing, but the officer acted as if the incident were nothing more than my personal, elaborate, grown-up version of tattletale.
- My boss informed me that the funds are not available to extend my internship at Voxeo when my contract expires next week.
- A generous donor (and it wasn’t Pabst – we haven’t had our lunch meeting yet) covered the expense to apply for tax exempt status for Alzheimer Chronicles, Inc., a non-profit organization I started last year.
- I was turned down for several freelance writing jobs.
- I was offered a freelance writing job.
- My kids showered me with gifts and words of affirmation on Mother’s Day.
If I were to attempt to find my sense of worth in life’s circumstances, then this what I’ve got to work with, based on the bullet list above:
- We like what you do.
- We want you around.
- We are interested in what you do.
- We are proud of you and happy for you.
- I wish you were dead.
- You don’t matter. What you say doesn’t matter.
- We don’t need you.
- We support what you do.
- Other people are better than you.
- You are better than other people.
- We love and appreciate you.
Some people weigh the positive and the negative, and as long as the positive outweighs the negative, they feel good about themselves. Likewise, if the negative outweighs the positive, they feel a diminished sense of self-worth. Some people compare their perception of how others “score” on their equations with their own “score” so that even if they felt good about themselves, if someone else is better, then it doesn’t count any more. And so on.
Thankfully, our true sense of worth is not found in what others say to us or do to/for us, it is found in God’s opinion of us.