Sunday, January 24, 2021

You Are Not Broken

During what may have been our last time attending our Evangelical church eleven years ago, the pastor was talking about sin and brokenness.  He let the congregation know that God saw their sin and could not abide it.  Yet, Jesus comes and stands in front of you... and then God can accept you, through Jesus.

On the drive home my wife said that while Jake sat in her lap during the service, she wanted to cover his ears. "I don't want him being told he is dirty and broken.  The message there has changed."

"No, it hasn't," I replied. "We have."

We were still believers but had started to see the foundational perspective of Evangelicalism as toxic.  Our ears became attuned to how many of our faith's beliefs sounded like something you would hear in an abusive relationship.

To clarify, I did not become an Atheist because of that experience or my decades in Evangelicalism.  There are plenty of churches out there that do not promote unhealthy views of the self and spirituality.

I just don't believe in the supernatural.

However, if you are a believer and have been attending the same kind of church for decades, I would encourage you to visit a different church once every month or two.  Get a perspective of what else is out there.  Because, here is the thing: If you had pointed out to me the toxic phrases my belief system used when I was all in, I would have denied they were toxic.  I would have told you that those messages were "good" for me and that you needed to hear them too.  Fish do not know they are wet and folks in toxic churches don't think they are toxic.

There may be a church community out there that would bring you a peace and happiness you never imagined... but you have never gone outside your bubble.

Of course, I have never been happier since I started playing disc golf on Sunday mornings... but that's just me.  🙂

Saturday, January 09, 2021

Teachers Need To Set Boundaries

I am going on 30 years in the teaching profession.

If you make it this far you either:

A. Don't have a life outside your job

B. Have learned to set boundaries and let the rest go

I don't panic when the district or the state changes this or that, fails to fund or support their expectations, makes contradictory demands.

I put in X amount of time on my job.  I have learned over the years to use that time pretty efficiently.  However, when the district increases a time demand in one spot, I remove something else.  X does not increase.

That may sound callous but it isn't.  It is reasonable.

I know there are teachers who can't accept that... and they pile on the time.  They spend themselves to make it all work.

They also tend to leave the profession inside of 10 years or sidestep to another spot in education that does not require them to be in a classroom full-time.

If you truly enjoy the classroom and want to continue being a happy human, you have to learn to let some things go.

Friday, January 08, 2021

Good For The Soul To Just Be Wrong

There is a lot of whataboutism and deflection going on at the moment as many on the Right wring their hands and try to redirect the negative attention they are getting due to what happened at the Capitol.

"Well if you were upset about the riot at the capitol but you weren't upset about the riots last  summer then..."


That is not how you address wrong behavior.  That is how you PROTECT wrong behavior.  That is how YOU protect YOUR ego.

Last summer during the protests there was some objectively bad behavior.  When protestors went into restaurants and intimidated people into pledging support for the cause... that was wrong.  It was horrid.  And I said so.

I didn't try to soften the blow by bringing up some horrible thing done by right-wingers.  I didn't try to argue that those were just plants to make the cause look bad.  They were liberals... and they went too far... and they were wrong.

Presently, there are a lot of folks on the Right who are having trouble with making such a statement.  Even if they recognize that what happened at the capitol was wrong, their ego can't help but cushion that recognition with a blanket of whataboutism.  "Yeah, the protestors in Washington shouldn't have done that... BUT Y'Know, THE DEMOCRATS DID THIS...."

Let me give some honest advice here to some folks.  Just be wrong.  Let the behavior be wrong.  No qualifications.  No side issues.  It is good for your soul to not muddy the waters, to not make excuses, and not deflect.  

You know this particularly if you are a parent or work with kids.  When they admit wrong with qualifiers... they aren't really admitting anything. They are still protecting the bad behavior.  But when the light goes on and they see their error, you know good change is on its way.

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