Thursday, October 6, 2011

Don't hate the player...hate the game.

Sometimes, I'm just not a very good person...

Take just last night for example. I was coming home from a Wednesday night series we are doing at church called Essentials. As a matter of fact, yours truly was the speaker last night for the second of  three parts I'm presenting on the Bible. The focus was on the authenticity of God's Word, and the detractors that have created a fracture of skepticism in our society concerning that authenticity.

...and yes, of course. Political correctness was one of the detractors discussed.

While the conceptual goal of political correctness is to reduce or marginalize an attitude of malice directed at any particular group based on socio-economic demographics (read hate crimes here), the actual result has been an increased attitude of hostility and air of intolerance aimed directly at Christians.

Listen up's against our by-laws to hate anyone!

But often, too often, we bring these feelings of contempt on ourselves. Back to last night.

After finishing up an hour-long interactive class and the impromptu follow-up discussions in post-presentation, I headed home to catch the days news on my DVR'd NewsHour program in a little decompression time.  I made what I presumed to be a quick stop at a convenience store for a bottle of water...okay, okay...AND a stick of Laffy Taffy. Cherry flavored. No sprinkles.

There's only two people in front of me, and they're together. At first, I was zoned out mentally reviewing my presentation and critiquing what I felt could be done better next week. Be more yourself , be Tony  kept echoing in my thoughts as a piece of positive reinforcement advice that came from a highly respected friend after the class.

What is taking so blasted long?

Now I'm focused on the two people at the counter bartering with the cashier. The problem was over exactly what could be paid for by using a welfare card and what couldn't. Now I'm aggravated. The purchase was two packs of cigarettes, two soft drinks, a bag of beef jerky, a prepackaged pickle and a lottery ticket. I'm sorry...I looked.

I then glanced down to notice the girl was wearing American Eagle jeans and some trendy shoe name my teenager is always pestering me about, and the other person (I'd be completely guessing if I stated either male or female) was wearing similar clothing but had a wallet on a chain out (doesn't disqualify previous remark in parenthesis, at least not here) looking for the welfare card.

The transaction is finally completed with all but the smokes and lottery ticket coming off the welfare card. A promise to pay back is met with a remark about having plenty on the card this month, and then both people pick up their iPhones from the counter and head for the door. I'm not really sure if the clerk has broken the law or not, so as tempted as I am to comment...I swallow and refrain.

Exiting with my water and taffy,  I passed by the two in a conversation with a Sheriff's Deputy who had also stopped. The conversation was friendly and light-hearted with a parting comment by the deputy that he hoped not to see one of the two persons anytime this month, insinuating frequent encounters with the law were quite common for the person. Everyone was having a good laugh as I got into my 1999 Mazda Protege. They got into a late model Dodge Ram truck with a very nice trim package.

Honestly, I'm heart-broken and ashamed by my feelings as I write this, but they're still prominently there and burning. There were so many verses of Scripture flooding my mind last night...and today as I write this as well. Scripture not pertaining to the other people involved in this story...but directed at my attitude.

I'd love to hear your thoughts Tony C Today readers...


Michelle said...

While your scriptures probably ring true...there is a biblical answer to this social welfare phenomenon... 2 Thess 3:10. ;) A few Proverbs cover it as well.

David-FireAndGrace said...

I would have had a hard time not saying "get a freakin' job!"

Rick Nier...Woo! said...

I've been there as well. I'm not sure hating the game works all that well either. Is there really much difference between the system of welfare and the grace system we have in Christianity?

The system is there to help people. But in both, we see jerks who take advantage and give the whole thing a bad name.

Chris Denning said...

Well, you can pity them. They are trapped in that lifestyle and without hope. They don't realize where they're headed. You know where life is found and it's not in the things of earth.