Call the Whambulance

Lately, I’ve been thinking about how we use words to describe people places and things.

An then, the other day I read Kathi Lipp’s blog and she talked about how her and her hubby have been making up words during the last couple of weeks and I couldn’t help but think about how my family loves to do the same thing.

My friend, Dawn, knows I use some unusual words, so she called me and asked if “crotchety” was really a word. I use it a lot, so I guess she assumed I knew whether or not it was a bonafide entry in Webster’s Dictionary. I wasn’t sure, but I quickly googled it and found that it was. (By the way…you can google just about anything now)

Her call got me thinking about the words people often use to describe Christians. I’ve heard people say we’re crotchety, callous, critical, judgmental, mean, bigotted, hypocritical, weak, wimpy and whiny.

Some of what we hear comes from hearts desperately trying to make excuses for their reluctance to become a Christian. Unfortunately, many of their descriptive word choices have been well earned. The way Christians act and the things Christians say often warrant their potshots.

I’m not throwing stones, mind you. I’ve yeilded my fair share of judgmental, mean and whiny words myself. So if stones start flying, I need to just throw myself in front of them and get it over with. But, I’ve been studying the book of Acts and I’m finding that in many ways, we are very different than the mold from which we were cut.

Do we handle life like the believers in the New Testament? Are we passionate about being light and salt in a dark and wounded world?

Can you imagine the woman at the well running back to town and saying, “I’ve found the Messiah! Now, I’m tired. I think I just want to sit around and watch t.v. for the rest of the night.”

What would you think if Zacchaeus got up from dinner after just being saved and began griping because no one would help him clean up?

Would Paul still be considered the greatest missionary ever if he made excuses every time he was asked to go tell someone about Christ or each time he was asked to teach the Word of God to a group of eager listeners?

What if Peter complained that it was too hot to hang out at the Temple gate and decided to recline under a shade tree instead? Would the lame man have ever experienced the miraculous healing? Would he have been saved?

What if Lydia would have complained about having too many people in her house?

Could you imagine Barnabus arguing about the color of the carpet or the paint on the walls?

What if Jesus would have said it was too crowded on the mountain. Would the 5,000 have been fed with the Bread of Life that day?

I hate to say it, but we really are a bunch of wimpy, whiney, judgmental complainers. No wonder they call us crotchety, callous, critical, judgmental, mean, bigotted, hypocritical, weak, wimpy and whiny. Oh somebody, call the whambulance!

It’s too hot, too crowded, too early, too late, too traditional, too contemporary, too intimidating, too easy, too menial a task, too hard, too boring, too dangerous. Are we always going to allow that which is “too” something or another to prevent us from being who God created us to be? Will we continue to let our response to the trivial sabotage our effectiveness for the eternal?

When I think about the times my conduct has added to someone’s “Top 10 Reasons Not to Become a Christian” my heart breaks. May it never happen again! I pray we will live lives that change the words people use to describe Christianity. Words like loving, faithful, courageous, godly, honest, trustworthy, patient, kind, good…you know…the characteristics we find in the fruit of the Spirit.

What about you? Has anything here struck a chord with you? Do you have any advice to share?

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