Question: how do spiders identify food versus nonfood in their webs? Movement? Shape?
When people talk about leadership (or what we like to call servanthood) in the church, we often picture someone who is kind, understanding, organized in thought and in habit, a model of self discipline (at this point, I’m just describing this one guy that I know and I think that some of the people who kind of know me might be able to guess whom I’m describing)… and I could never, ever, ever be that person.
I mean, I get that all Christians are supposed to aspire to be the kind of person that you would see planning out Bible studies or checking in with people who seem lost or out of it. I think that maybe I just enjoy often irreverent, sometimes inappropriate humor and other less-than-godly forms of down-to-earth-ness too much to be such a considerate, organized person.
For example, I’ve always been a very negative person. My eyes are drawn to things that aren’t right. Once upon a time, I would kick people and throw things over those things. Now, I specialize in carefully crafted, verbose rants. It’s not that I don’t enjoy goodness, nor that I can’t see it, because I do. Show me someone that I know, and I can tell you what I think is good as well as what I think is bad, but it’s extremely rare that I both know someone and have nothing bad that I could say. And even then, that in itself is bad (people who are too good are often intimidatingly unapproachable).
There’s another side to being negative. Imagine that positive people are very colorful. Well, I am grey. (I actually really like that color, by the way.) I can’t gush about everyday things if I don’t mean it. If I do, I get that fake-ass hearty tone like Harry Potter does when he’s trying to sound like he’s not being consumed with resentment. If I really feel a certain way about something, I will spell it out but if I don’t, I won’t. Seriously, this is what happens when someone offers me food that they’re crazy about:
“It’s deLICious, RIGHT?”
“Well, it’s… good…”
“You don’t like it??”
“Well, I do like it; it’s all right, that’s all. Um, just, don’t mind me.”
That’s really what it’s all about, with me: I’m all about expressing myself only when I mean it and only how I mean it. For example, I enjoy sass. So I will indulge in sass myself. Unfortunately, being sassy is not a very humble thing to do.
At the same time, I doubt that God would prefer that I dress myself in a fake personality. I try to keep me real, and I can handle getting called out when I’ve done something wrong. I don’t always change because changing is hard, and it’s even harder when people don’t tell you how to do it, step by concrete step. But I try to process the feedback and be a little better, without snuffing out the semi-rebellious independent streak.