You know what is awkward? Spelling the word awkward. Go ahead and do it; out loud would be best. Here–I’ll do it with you: A…W…K…W…A…R…D. Was that as awkward for you as it was for me? Of course it was.
You know what else is awkward? Wearing a tie with a short-sleeved shirt.
Like most people, my mind is not at its best in the morning. That is the only explanation that I have for such a terrible fashion choice. While I acknowledge that my fashion sense is well below par, this bad choice was on a whole different level. It was worse than matching my socks by thickness instead of color or dressing my boys in camouflage shorts with striped shirts. It was an epic fashion fail. And I didn’t see it coming.
I thought I would look fine. After all, I had seen other men at work wearing ties with short-sleeved shirts and they looked fine. I looked far less than fine and it aggravated me. So I began pondering why I looked and felt so awkward. Why did I waste precious time pondering something so insignificant? That’s just how I roll.
After thinking about this for a few days, here is my conclusion: my arms are just too long and hairy to pull off this look. I’m not afraid to admit it. My arms are so hairy that from a distance it probably looked like I was wearing a long-sleeved shirt. And the length of my arms no doubt made the sleeves look shorter than they are supposed to; sort of like a woman’s blouse. That’s right, I looked like a gorilla wearing women’s clothing.
It was awkward and I promise to never do it again.
This hopefully soon forgotten incident reminded me of something my parents said to me that I now say to my children: just because other people do something, it doesn’t mean that you should. And this goes for issues far more important than fashion.
Just because others ridicule and mock defenseless people, it doesn’t mean that you should.
Just because others harshly judge those who fall short, it doesn’t mean that you should.
Just because others do whatever it takes to come out on top with no regard for the damage done to their character, it doesn’t mean that you should.
Just because others fail to show grace and forgive, it doesn’t mean that you should.
Just because others neglect the needs or orphans and widows, it doesn’t mean that you should.
Especially if you profess to follow Christ.
For those who care about Jesus, not seeking to be like Him should be far more awkward than spelling awkward or bad fashion. And I’ve been awkward in this way far more than I want to admit.
There have been too many times where I’ve gotten sucked into gossip-fests, let my anger control my actions, and denied my Savior by my lifestyle. I’ve gone long periods where I have cared about my will more that His, my words more than His, and my wisdom more than His.
Looking back on the times that I have failed in this way, I have always felt awkward eventually. I am sure the reason for this is that the Holy Spirit convicted me of these sins and I am just as sure that when I went to God for forgiveness I was granted forgiveness immediately.
To me, this is great news. Even though we often wait to seek forgiveness from God, we do not have to wait to receive forgiveness once we ask for it.
As soon my work-day was over on Monday, I took my tie off and the feeling of awkwardness faded. If you are feeling awkward because of your sin, this feeling could go away even faster.
(Ever said something awkward, wore something awkward, or just been awkward? Confession is good for the soul–feel free to share.)