I really only post when I'm fired up about something.
And, in this way-too-easily-offended culture we are living in, I'm sure I tick people off.
But, this morning, I don't care.
My dad sent me an email this morning asking how I feel about the whole red cup controversy.
Frankly, for a person who lives three hours from the nearest Starbucks, I'm probably a little too fired up about it. But, it is what it is.
I DON'T CARE.
I don't care that their cups don't say "Merry Christmas."
I don't care that they aren't having Christian symbols anywhere this holiday season.
They aren't a Christian company! Why do we expect them to act like one?
I am a Christian. I was raised Christian. I decided on my own to remain a Christian into my adulthood. I lived overseas as a missionary. I considered myself a missionary to my college and in my work environments. So, you can read all this with that preface.
I wish Christians would stop expecting non-Christians corporations to act in Christian ways.
So what if their cup doesn't say "Merry Christmas"?
The jug of milk and loaf of bread that I just picked up at the grocery store don't say that either, but I still bought them. Personally, I don't get offended when the gas station clerk wishes me "Happy Holidays" instead of saying "Merry Christmas." And, seriously, if you can live by only shopping at Hobby Lobby and eating at Chick-fil-A, more power to you.
Perhaps we should stop boycotting places and demanding that others do things OUR way.
Maybe instead, we SHOULD go into these places and spread some love and joy and peace instead of malice and frustration and anger that our own needs aren't being met exactly how we see fit.
I honestly don't think Jesus would've cared AT ALL about what his coffee cup said, but I CAN GUARANTEE that he would've brightened up His barista's day. He would have left her feeling blessed and loved.
(And, by the way, He totally forewarned us that stuff like this would happen. He told us we'd have troubles in this world. We live in a fallen world. Stuff like this should come as no surprise.)
Our response when we face troubles is to be gracious, full of patience, kindness, love.
Now, to be clear, I do not consider this whole cup nonsense to be anything close to persecution, but I think we can still think about this verse in light of this situation:
"But even if you should suffer for righteousness' sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts regard Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame."
1 Peter 3:14-16
How are we supposed to behave?
Like people with hope, with gentleness and respect. Not full of malice and demands. Tell me, who is going to be attracted to our lifestyle if this is why we make headlines?
Instead, let's get all riled up about doing good this Christmas. Let's get all fired up about spreading love and joy. Maybe as a church, instead of boycotting a coffeeshop, we should come together and join forces to make sure that no homeless person has nowhere to go this Christmas. Let's make sure that there is not one kid in the foster care system who feels like an outsider on Christmas morning. Let's go buy a whole bunch of those offensive red cups full of cocoa and go visit your local old folks home to spend time with the elderly whose families live far away this Christmas.
Let's take something that offends us and turn it into something good.
For heaven's sake.