For the past couple of weeks there have been three reoccurring themes on my Facebook feed:
- An adult holding a hand written sign that reads something like this, “I am a third grade teacher and I am trying to demonstrate to my students how quickly their picture can spread across the internet, please hit like.”
- A new diet program that will change my life.
- Something derogatory about sagging pants.
Really, sagging pants? This is what we choose to focus on? In a world where children need free school lunch at because of lack of food at home, or have to go to the free medical clinic just to receive basic health services, we want to complain about sagging pants? I cannot help but wonder if focusing on the “saggers” is just a convenient excuse to ignore the call of the gospel. More significantly it allows us to condemn people who make us uncomfortable. More often than not those who make us uncomfortable quickly move into the “sinner” category. Who came up with the notion that anything that is different from the “established norm” is sin? Wasn’t it God who declared to Samuel that while everyone else looks on the outside, God looks at the heart?
Why do people of faith get so distracted by outward appearances? Is it because it allows us to focus others and avoid the hypocrisy in our own lives? The desire to focus on tattoos, piercings, sagging pants, or how women should dress is silly and not terribly helpful. Focusing on the outward has the potential to cross all kinds of lines that people of faith have no business crossing. It leads to judgmentalism, sexism, racism, and all the other “isms.” This just doesn’t seem Christian.
Rather than condemning those who make us uncomfortable maybe we need to find ways to become comfortable with what makes us uncomfortable.