Confident Cowardice

November 14, 2011

Well, hi, Internets!

Did you have a good times weekend? Mine was pretty much ruled by school, so let’s just not discuss it or I’ll sink into deep self-pity.

My mom and I are a bit obsessed with pomegranates lately because they are back in stores! Pomegranates are delish, but they are a lady dog to de-seed, you guys. You have to cut into them super carefully because the red juice splatters easily and it ends up looking like you’ve committed pomegranate murder in your kitchen. Then you have to soak them in water, separate the seed from the membrane, and rinse them. Overall, it’s kind of a lot of work. I love pomegranates, but as has been well-established on this bloggy, I’m way too lazy to go through this process all the time. Lucky for me (and my kitchen), they’re only in season for a short amount of time.

So, my friend John Crist wrote a post that has become somewhat controversial over on Stuff Christians Like. I thought it was hilarious in a sad but true kind of way. I blogged about it over on Boundless  — I’d love to hear your thoughts on John’s post and its implications.

Minnesota friends, isn’t this cute?

I’m sorry for all the random jumping around, but this is what my mind is doing right now. I think it has something to do with the fact that I am currently watching football, writing a blog post, making meals for the weak, lamenting over how behind I am on this awful paper I’m writing on 1 Peter, and perusing Etsy. Clearly, I’m busy, so just quit complaining about this post, OK?!

This weekend I spent time with my formation group at Denver Seminary. There are eleven of us in this class, and it’s basically time set aside each semester for us to get together and discuss school, life, theology, mentoring and like such as. Anyhoo, we spent some time on Saturday writing out things we appreciate about each person in our group.

Many of the comments about me had to do with me being “confident” and “strong.” One of the guys said that I seem to always have everything together, which is a difficult feat during grad school. (Clearly, this group does not read my blog.)

What I thought was interesting about my group’s comments was that I often do not feel confident or strong. It is apparently the image I very clearly present to people, but it is not true about my heart. Another girl in my group said the same thing about her comments — the way she comes across is not how she actually feels inside.

What the freak? Why do we do this to ourselves? It’s not that I’m never confident — I often am. But there are so many things in life that I feel vulnerable about, so many areas where confidence and strength are nowhere to be seen. But because those areas are vulnerable, I pretend like they don’t exist. I fool people into thinking that I have things together, even if my reality is in turmoil. Most of the time, I don’t think I’m even conscious about it. I’m so used to protecting myself this way that it has become natural to me. I know that I’m crazier than most, but I don’t think I’m alone in this. A lot of us project a certain image to others in order to protect ourselves, to maintain some kind of barrier. Whether we come across as strong, peaceful, arrogant, weak, charming or needy, many times I think it’s our natural default in order to stay safe.

It’s wrong. Not because we need to be people who share every last detail of life with everyone we meet, but because as the body of Christ we are called to support one another, to be truthful, to encourage. In fellowship with believers it should be normal to share honestly, to reveal our struggles so that friends can pray for us and encourage us with God’s truth. When we’re honest with our struggles and sins, it more fully reveals how much we need Jesus, and how grateful we can be that his Spirit lives within us and that he has given us a body of believers who are called to love.

So, share with someone today. Let your pride fall down. And notice the people around you — pry a bit more than usual, and let them know it’s safe to share with you.

Heart Warmed, am I right? So glad we’re all friendsies. Have a good Monday!


5 Responses to “Confident Cowardice”

  1. Kristy said

    1. I did read that blog. I first thought it was funny, but then re-read it and realized it kind of made me mad. I have long thoughts about it.

    2. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten a pomegranate before.

    3. That’s a good lesson to learn from your group–I’m still working on that whole thing, and it’s what we did a lot in my meetings with Nancy.

  2. denisemorris said

    1. It made me mad in that it’s sadly true. Which made me realize that guys (and girls) believe a lot of lies in our culture.
    2. Pomegranate is delicious. Come over and have some!
    3. Sob.

  3. Suzanne said

    Interesting post on SCL. I feel like his criteria don’t classify a girl with a past (the +) so much as identifying a goody-two-shoes who tends toward legalism (the -). So I think though his observations are very true, they have little to do with “girls with a past.” I received many +’s (although being homeschooled knocked me down several notches), and I do not have a past. I just learned along the way how not to be (as) dorky.

    I think it would have been interesting to hear Crist’s thoughts on why he likes the girls with +’s versus the girls with -‘s. I have a hunch is more of a “weird” factor associated with the -‘s than a past associated with the +’s. Few of these things were overtly either righteous or sinful.

  4. Rachel said

    I also read the post and found it amusing. Like everything on the blog – you can find scandal or controversy in every post if you really look.

    I think we (Christian men and women) are afraid to admit that there is probably truth to that. I’m a firm believe that the last 10 years or so have screwed up a whole generation of Christian men and women and their chance to have healthy relationships.

    You take things like “I kissed dating goodbye”, combine that with readily available porn, Disney princess fairytales, chick flicks, and the emasculation of men, and it’s no wonder we have a Christian culture whose divorce rates rival that of non-believers.

    Christian women are often portrayed as meek, humble, lacking passion, and mousy. We’re told from a young age that is how a “true” Christian woman acts. So do I believe Christian men have an aversion to that culture created woman? Absolutely. I wouldn’t want to date the male counterpart of that woman.

    Unfortunately, I believe this is another lie of the enemy to destroy and keep Christians apart. He convinces young men that if they date a wild-girl-turned-good they won’t have to miss out on everything the world has to offer.

    It also tries to convince young Christian women to rebel because we’re not as attractive without some sort of past. But nothing too scandalous. There’s still rules and a certain amount of acceptable scandal.

    Sorry for the rantings 🙂

  5. denisemorris said

    Suzanne — I agree with your comments. I think it has less to do with a past or not, and more to do with a type of girl (or guy) and how they want to be perceived.

    Rachel — such good thoughts! Thank you so much for sharing. I agree that our culture has sent so many mixed messages that people barely know how to date anymore. And I’ve felt the pressure of being the ‘good Christian girl.’ I wrote an article about it once, and I know a lot of people have felt the same way. I wonder how we really start thinking biblically about relationships and marriage. What we have going right now isn’t working for a lot of people!

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