There are times I have poured my heart into a piece of writing. Laying all the rawness and vulnerability on a page in hopes that someone might read the message and be inspired; praying they might discover they aren’t alone and they are stronger than they know.
It never fails, if there’s a typo there will always be that one stranger that comments to point out my mistakes. It is the most annoying pet peeve I have. It’s condescending. It’s cynical. It’s insinuating I’m not intelligent enough to correctly use the English language. It’s missing the point of the message entirely and pointing out where I messed up instead. My heart was good, but the execution was terrible. (That’s essentially who I am as a person.)
Maybe in some twisted way the strangers believe they’re being helpful, but there’s really only one true explanation for why they do this. They aren’t writers. They don’t know what it’s like to walk in my shoes or spend hours spilling blood and tears over a piece I believe to be incredibly special–just to have someone point out an error. They aren’t authors on a mission to somehow make the world a little brighter through their words. They have no other motive in life than to sit and point out where someone has used the wrong pronoun or misplaced an apostrophe. They focus on the mistakes and the legality of the English language, and therefore they miss the entire point.
As a natural defense, I spend hours scouring my words for mistakes. I end up focusing so intently on word usage and semi-colons that I can’t even form rational sentences with meaning. I lose my heart for writing. If they continue to point out my flaws I block them. They are removed from my world of writing because I don’t have to play with anyone who makes me feel inferior. Access denied.
I read an article yesterday about a senior at a Christian high school who isn’t allowed to walk with her classmates for the graduation ceremony. She is pregnant and obviously unwed, and I guess that’s just not the image they want portrayed. So they shunned her, made her feel inferior, insinuated a decision she made 7 months ago deems her unworthy to join an incredibly special moment. Now that precious girl will do one of 2 things. She will begin molding herself into a person that is acceptable for them. She will hide what they deem wrong, and she will turn into another plastic person just like they are. OR. That precious girl will entirely block out anyone claiming Christianity because she doesn’t have to play with people who make her feel inferior. Access denied.
There is a percentage of American Christians that claim they are persecuted daily. They honestly believe they are outcaste because of their faith and that our country is spiraling because no one will let them be heard. Listen up, and listen very closely to what I’m about to say: By your definition of persecution, you are actually guilty of persecuting others who aren’t like you. You are being shut out and blocked because you continually point out the mistakes and flaws of everyone around you. Maybe, just maybe, they took God out of schools and government because your persecution gave them the wrong impression of what Christianity was intended to be; and they don’t have to play with anyone who makes them feel inferior. ACCESS DENIED.
In some twisted way you might believe you’re helping by pointing out where people need to correct their “apostrophes.” Except you aren’t helping at all. You are blocking a potential relationship with Christ because they only see arrogant prudes who pride themselves on perfection and believe they have all the answers to life’s questions. That is not what Christ intended for Christianity. Perfection is insecurity’s best cover; and your insecurities are causing you to lash out in fear instead of truly having enough faith to portray love under any circumstance.
He never wanted us running around telling people, “Well you need Jesus.” In that one simple statement you just said, “I’m better than you and you’re not good enough.” That’s not who he was. He was warm, and fun, and loving—not condescending and judgmental and arrogant. The people loved him, they ran to him and crowded around him just to steal one glance. They came with heroin needles sticking out of their arms dropping their stash of pills while they ran. If they were drinking a beer and smoking marijuana while searching for a prostitute they still ran up to him dropping F Bombs. They told him inappropriate jokes and I often wonder if he laughed, I think he probably chuckled. Why? Because loving them and accepting their good hearts was more important than the ways they chose to cope with a difficult life. He didn’t lay out a mold for them to become a plastic person, or insist they acted a certain way around him, he allowed them to be themselves—and because of that he wasn’t denied access to their lives. He formed true relationships with people from all walks of life and ultimately, he saved each and everyone of them from their own self-destruction.
He loved them through it, all the way through it; and they were free of any chains that would force them back into a mold. They were free to discover their own uniqueness and their own gifts–and they used them passionately to help others. He created a group of misfits that changed an entire world; and out of ash they made it a little more beautiful.
On a side note, there was actually one select group of people Christ despised: the religious leaders who demanded perfection and pointed out the mistakes of the common people he loved the most. He fought them and their ways, he made them feel inferior, and they killed him. Whose soul might you be killing the next time you open your mouth full of criticism and intolerance?
“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” -Ghandi