So one of Cameron's sermons from a few months ago hit home today. He talked about living distinctly as Christians in a world of unbelievers. Drinking (not drunkenness) and bad words may be harmless when we're around our spiritual peers, but as he said, "It doesn't impress the world." Not in a try-to-fit-in kind of impress, but in a Christians-are-different way.
I've been working at this restaurant for almost exactly a month now. There aren't many employees at this locally-owned place, since the owner is particular at who works in the establishment bearing his name. At this restaurant, I'm the "positive, helpful Christian girl". It's the impression the others have so far, one I'm praying to live out and glorify my Father and the friend who got me the job.
In the time before we opened for the evening, the four of us employees were hanging out and playing with someone's iPhone and making each other laugh. Everyone who works there is very friendly and intimate in a family-like way. They make rough jokes at each others' expense, complete with the language not fit for mixed company and racial slurs. No one's feelings ever seem to be upset, but I'll bet if an outsider heard the conversations they'd be horrified. During one of these jokes, I was making fun of something and laughingly used the word s***. Everything stopped. K, one of the servers, said, "I had no idea you ever said those words. You're like the nice Christian one." I hastily apologized, and he replied, "No, I'm not offended, you just completely threw me off there."
None of them hesitate to swear or use rough language around me. I've been known to sport some pretty vulgar language myself with good friends. But I realized that when I'm around people who are finding out what a non-judgmental, God-loving person is like, it doesn't help to use those words. From now on at work, even in down time when everyone else is laughing and swearing and joking around, it looks like I'll be giving up that liberty of saying whatever I want. It just really stranged me out to see the effect it had on my co-workers to hear me do something that's harmless and understood at home.
In other news, did you know that Macon Police Department has a Citizen Patrol? Because they fly around in big trucks downtown going 60+ m.p.h. with no regard for pedestrian life. Watch out for them at night!