“Hey, Brandon,” she said, bouncing up to the counter – not a coworker, but the girlfriend of one, whom I didn’t know from Adam – and said, “Do you know the difference between a cheeseburger and a [sexual reference]?”
No. I do not know the difference between those two things, and I’ve as much desire to find out as to go dumpster-diving in full view of Main Street on rush hour. Which I suppose is not altogether unrelated.
I looked at them with what I hoped was my (increasingly common) world-weary half-grin.
“C’mon. Enough for one night,” I said.
They relented good-naturedly.
I’m trying to be gracious here. I don’t want to be THAT Christian, the one who gets all stunned and debilitated because unbelievers are acting like unbelievers. You have to let this stuff slide off your backs in environments like my second job.
Plus, I actually enjoy this particular coworker. He’s got a lot of character (other than the one-track mind), we work great together, and I do consider him a friend. Burning bridges over this stuff would not do. Not when I’m called to share Christ with the people in my life.
But this stuff does get tiring. Perhaps you relate.
It’s actually giving me flashbacks to my Air Force days. That “locker room talk” was ten times worse, of course, thanks to the privacy of our enclosed launch truck. But my current friend’s constant attempts to “hook me up” at nearby bars (and far cruder things) are definitely letting me relive the old fatigue.
I don’t need that kind of help, thank you very much.
Nor do I require the perpetual reminders of my singleness, but that’s another rant…
I think of the friends who got slapped with the label “goody two shoes” in high school. Strange – the world can acknowledge your holiness and still find a way to twist it against you. Some of my friends have ended up ditching that righteousness (think Nancy from Stranger Things), proceeding, I suppose from the belief that they’re missing out on something.
Fight that belief.
The world is holding out a cheap, greasy cheeseburger while God offers a feast.
In regard to these, they think it strange that you do not run with them in the same flood of dissipation, speaking evil of you. (1 Peter 4:4, NKJV)
It’s comforting to know that God has foreseen our “goody two shoes” moniker.
It’s even more comforting to see the affirmations he has planted in his Word for just such moments.
Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and celebrate, because great is your reward in heaven; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets before you. (Matthew 5:11)
The world means it as an insult. God makes it a badge of honor.
Isn’t it odd how the world seems to regard virginity as the worst possible outcome of life? There are even movies on the concept. I don’t get it. (It seems a distant cousin of the assumption of some corners of the church that being single is the worst possible outcome, but that’s a separate rant…)
Disobeying God is always the worst possible outcome. If that means virginity for life, so be it. I’ve seen people – other coworkers at this very store, even – getting all the “action” they want and looking absolutely miserable day in and day out. Don’t undervalue how much you’ve dodged because of your purity.
But more than that, purity honors God – and it keeps us mission-ready.
Wear the “goody two shoes” label with pride; those shoes were handed you by God.
Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. (Ephesians 6:14-15)
“How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” (Romans 10:15b)