If you're a Christian, does it not bother you when people try to be Mr. goody-goody when they're around you but you know full well that they're not? If you aren't a Christian, have you ever felt awkward around Christians because you feel like unless you are on your best behavior then they'll be secretly judging you?
I'm writing this because i'm tired of people not being themselves. A few weeks ago I invited some friends from work to see my band play at a bar (thats right, a bar) downtown. It seemed like they had a good time. The next day one of them called me and apologized for drinking. "What? We were playing at a bar! Why would we care if people drank?" I thought to myself. She explained that she was just trying to respect our beliefs and didn't want to offend us. I wanted to tell her to apologize for calling me to apologize! This sparked something that i've been thinking about for quite some time; why non-Christians feel the need to put on an act when they're around us. And because some might be confused as to why they shouldn't put on an act when they're around us, I have written a list of do's and don'ts:
1. Be yourself. You're not fooling anyone.
2. If you want to drink, then drink. If you want to smoke, then smoke. No one really cares. Seriously.
3. Stop apologizing each and every time you cuss!! "Oh no, Mike.e is in the room! We better watch what we say!" Nothing offends me more when people try to "watch what they say" when they're around me. If you're vocabulary consists of the "f-bomb" every other word, then say it. I could care less. If I were really offended by your vulgar vocabulary, then I wouldn't be hanging out with you. And chances are, all the Christians that you think don't cuss...think again.
4. Don't be afraid to talk about sex. We can handle it. I promise. And I know this may come as a shock, but Christians have sex drives too.
5. Don't ever, ever correct one of your friends when they say something that you think might offend us, especially not right in front of us! Have you ever thought about how that makes us feel?
6. If we really are offended by what you say and do, then we wouldn't be hanging out with you!
7. Seriously, no one is secretly judging you. Get over yourself.
8. Does it really matter if you offend us anyways? If you drink, then you probably drink because you don't think anything is wrong with it. If that's the case, then why not live by your conviction and drink around your Christian buddies? Would we really be going out to a bar with you if we weren't expecting you to be drinking?
9. Let's turn the tables. How would you like it if you're Christian friends did what you did and put on a show when they are around you? Should I take up smoking because I don't want to offend those who smoke? "Oh sorry guys, I forgot that you guys smoke and drink. I don't want to offend anyone by not drinking, so I better order a beer." See how absurd that sounds? We just want to be real and be ourselves. Why can't you do the same for us?
10. Treat us like we're human. We are just like you. I promise.
11. Don't try and quote Scripture or act "religious" just to impress us. It really doesn't do anything.
12. We don't care if you missed church last sunday or every sunday for the past 7 years. If you want to go to church, go to church. If you don't want to, then don't. Either way, your attendance doesn't impress us. What we really care about is whether or not you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.
13. This one is for the girls. Dress how you want to dress. Don't wear a turtle neck just because you're around us. Plus, we've all seen your myspace pictures anyways. In other words, we already know how you dress. So stop trying to fool us and wear whatever you want. If we were really offended by what you wore, then we wouldn't hang out with you.
14. Don't try to fool us by leaving your radio on the Christian station. Chances are, the Christians that you are around are more offended by the Christian station than they are by the secular stations. Listen to whatever you want.
15. Don't brag about how you grew up going to a Christian school. You're not impressing anyone. Also, the fact that you're uncle's sister-in-law's cousin is a pastor doesn't really matter either. If its relevant to the conversation, then cool. If not, then drop it.
16. Don't hide your movie collection when we come over. We watch the same movies that you do. We're human, remember?
17. Don't ever, ever, ever say, "Oh sorry, I forgot you guys are Christians."
Hopefully this list will give you a glimpse into the mind of a Christian. If you want to add to this list, i'd love to hear your thoughts, and even your disagreements if you have any.