It’s not that the places or situations that I am in are “good” or” bad” that cause me to feel awkward, usually I feel awkward because I have not been in that particular place or situation before, and I don’t know how to act or behave. (Heck, I have been in the same place or situation many times again, and I still felt somewhat awkward.)
Think about your first kiss. Was that awkward? Come on now. Think about all the things that led up to that first kiss. All the thoughts that went through your mind weeks and days before that kiss. The things you `watched on TV or in real life to get a heads-up on what a good kiss should look like. Remember the conversations you had with your close friends (some who had already experienced their first kiss, and others who hadn’t, but since they were your best friend you listen to their first kiss advice and tactics anyway)
Awkward, I tell you. AWKWARD.
But thank God, I didn’t quit.
Heck, many of us learned to get over that awkward feeling so well that we would actually look forward to sitting around with a bunch of our friends, spin a bottle, and then a guy and a girl would go into a closet and have their “first kiss” with each other while the rest of the group made strange noises outside the door. (Shut up, you know you’ve done something like this…or at least heard about it)
So many good things can happen when we learn to overcome awkward in a healthy way. In fact, if I had avoided kissing in order to avoid awkwardness, I wouldn’t have gotten a second kiss (or a third kiss for that matter). Yes, avoiding “awkward” could have cost me 29 years of a happy marriage.
Jesus had the same kind of approach when it came to overcoming (not avoiding) awkward.
Time and time again in the Bible, we see Jesus coming across a situation that was awkward…like the time some religious leaders brought a woman caught in the act of adultery to Jesus, in order to get his nod of approval to have her stoned to death (which their laws said was just and reasonable punishment).
Talk about AWKWARD!
Awkward for Jesus…Awkward for the woman…Awkward for the religious leaders.
But awkward didn’t scare or intimidate Jesus. Jesus didn’t hide from awkward, or avoid it, but rather Jesus overcame awkward.
Jesus loved through awkward! He loved & forgave the woman who had messed up…His words to her, “go and sin no more”.
Jesus loved those misguided religious leaders who may or may not have had good intentions, but definitely missed the mark when it came to humility, empathy, compassion, and forgiveness. Jesus reminded them of what they really looked like in the eyes of God by saying, “you without sin, you go ahead and cast the first stone”.
Jesus’ actions always match His words. Jesus always loves us through awkward.
This is one of the things that I love so much about LifeSpring Church where I pastor.
We all remember awkward…
The first time we visited the church, the first time we were asked to serve, the first time we met someone who had different values and upbringings, the first time we met people might know our past, our ex-spouse, our mistakes, our short comings, our failures, our lifestyle choices…
And since we remember our awkward past, we don’t avoid awkward with others, we simply love others through it (like someone did to us).
We are learning every day new ways to love others through awkward, just like Jesus loves us through awkward.
Below is a blog post by Seth Godwin that stimulated my thoughts about the hypocrisy of saying one thing and doing another. He reminded me that what we say isn’t the problem. It’s what we do.
I choose to love through awkward, what about you?
Blog post by Seth Godwin
We say we want a revolution...
Of course, what we say doesn't matter so much. What we do is what matters and we have far more influence that we'd like to confess.
We say we want local merchants to offer great service, deep selection and community values, but we cross the street to the big box store to save $3.
We say we want companies to honor their promises and act transparently, but one new product or big discount from a business that has deceived us in the past and we come right back for more.
We say we're disgusted with Congress, but almost all of us vote to re-elect the dufus we sent there in the first place.
We say we hate spam, but we send it. And sometimes buy from it.
We say we'd like people to think first and act later, but we get cut off in traffic and all bets are off.
We say we love art, the brave work that touches us, but we listen to oldies and rarely head out to hear live music or visit a cutting edge gallery.
Hypocrisy may be an epidemic, but the problem isn't in what we say. It's what we do.