THE CHANGE CHALLENGE: Be Nice.


Over the years, I have discovered that people aren’t very nice.  Even “church people” can be bitter, acrid and biting.  Actually, church people can be the most bitter, acrid and biting.  In fact, some of the meanest people I know are church people.

Why is that?  Why are they so critical of anyone who isn’t like themselves?

A few years ago I spoke to 300 kids at Sr. High Camp.  During a mid-week program I showed a slide show with images that flashed on the screen with the song, “Breathe Deep” by the Lost Dogs playing along.  Here are the lyrics:

Politicians, morticians, Philistines, homophobes
Skinheads, Dead heads, tax evaders, street kids
Alcoholics, workaholics, wise guys, dim wits
Blue collars, white collars, war mongers, peace nicks

Breathe deep
Breathe deep the Breath of God
Breathe deep
Breathe deep the Breath of God

Suicidals, rock idols, shut-ins, drop outs
Friendless, homeless, penniless and depressed
Presidents, residents, foreigners and aliens
Dissidents, feminists, xenophobes and chauvinists

Breathe deep
Breathe deep the Breath of God
Breathe deep
Breathe deep the Breath of God

Evolutionists, creationists, perverts, slum lords
Dead-beats, athletes, Protestants and Catholics
Housewives, neophytes, pro-choice, pro-life
Misogynists, monogamists, philanthropists, blacks and whites

Breathe deep
Breathe deep the Breath of God
Breathe deep
Breathe deep the Breath of God

Police, obese, lawyers, and government
Sex offenders, tax collectors, war vets, rejects
Atheists, Scientists, racists, sadists
Photographers, biographers, artists, pornographers

Breathe deep
Breathe deep the Breath of God
Breathe deep
Breathe deep the Breath of God

Gays and lesbians, demagogues and thespians
The disabled, preachers, doctors and teachers
Meat eaters, wife beaters, judges and juries
Long hair, no hair, everybody everywhere!

Breathe deep
Breathe deep the Breath of God
Breathe deep
Breathe deep the Breath of God

At the end of the program there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.  Why?  Because everyone could relate to one or more of the people listed in this song and God’s grace, the Breath of God, was for any and all.  No matter what we’d thought.  No matter what we’d said.  No matter what we’d done.

So, I’ll ask my original question a different way:  If the church people are those who have experienced this Grace, why are they so critical of those who haven’t?

3 thoughts on “THE CHANGE CHALLENGE: Be Nice.

  1. This is so interesting especially since just yesterday I was listening to someone on the radio discuss the difference between church people and Christ followers. Perhaps we need to minister first to those who sit next to us during our time of worship since many of them are the brokenhearted.

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