You know what I’m talking about. Opinions – and assholes.
Everybody’s got one. Lately it seems like everyone likes to show theirs off.
There was an article recently about a church in the UK that had a discussion about what kinds of activities to host in their building. And in this discussion, it was proposed that yoga should be banned from their facilities. Their reason? Yoga is a “non-Christian activity”.
People freaked out. It’s been all over the news. The discussion flowed right down into our office after someone heard it on the radio last week. Which, in case you missed it, I work for a church. It’s seldom good when a church is mentioned in the news, am I right?
What is wrong with “those church people”? What are they afraid of? Why are they so narrow minded? Yoga is good exercise. What difference does it make if they say Namaste or Amen when they finish? Who cares if the origins of yoga are found in Hinduism? Weren’t Christmas trees used to celebrate pagan gods and yet we find them in churches each December?
Those are good questions. But they are the wrong questions.
Churches – and the folks that run them – get to decide what kinds of events they want on their own property. This is totally and completely within their right to do so. We don’t get angry with Jewish Synagogues when they opt out of pulled pork dinners. And you may decide against hosting silly string wars for the high school football team in your house. (Or maybe you would be okay with it? I’m sure the team would be thrilled to know this).
But what if the Church and its people – the ones who claim to follow Jesus – considered these questions instead:
What can we do that draws people closer to God?
How can we build relationships with people who don’t come to church here?
How can we leverage our resources to help people in the community feel more connected?
What needs are in our community and how can we help meet those needs?
And then the ultimate question, what would Jesus do?
From what I know of him, Jesus is okay with people doing whatever they can to SHOW LOVE in real and practical ways. Like sharing resources and not judging. Loving your neighbor as yourself. Doing all you can to be in harmony and peace with those around you.
My guess, to which I am entitled, as you are to yours, is that Jesus is probably okay with a yoga class.
You know what he is not okay with? People getting hostile with each other. People judging each other. People wasting precious time and energy on things over which we have no control.
Some don’t want yoga, which is within their right, and then others condemn them for it. Pot, the kettle is calling for you!
How are we showing love when we criticize others? How are we extending grace when we are judging and condemning those who think differently than we think? Isn’t grace for all of us?
It’s likely that I will not change the stance of the folks in this little church in the UK. And that is okay. Where IS my influence today? Who around me needs grace? Perhaps I can dismiss maddening conversations as soon as they erupt. Perhaps I choose something positive and encouraging to share in my circles, rather than continuing to repeat negativity.
What could this achieve? A few less opinions (and assholes) and a lot more grace.
I’m so glad.
Thanks for reading, until next time!
PS. If you are looking for an amazing online yoga instructor who doesn’t care what you believe, is positive, encouraging, wacky and fun, check out my girl Adriene. She leads me each and every morning in my home practice. Namaste and Amen!