Every year, the first week of November brings joy for many. From the low points of post-Halloween depression, to the high points of pre-Thanksgiving and Christmas jitters, November is a truly spectacular month in all regards. It also paves the way for something else, and that is the unveiling of the seasonal Starbucks holiday cups.
With their bright red color, many people have come to look forward to these cups as a sign of the holiday season that is quickly approaching. While the cup design does vary from year to year, most have come to expect a certain amount of "holiday cheer" along with the typical red color. However, this year, instead of the usual "oohs" and "aahs" the red cups bring, many people were outraged. Why? Starbucks went with a "minimalist" theme for the cups this year and decided to remove all mentions of Christmas.
Guess what. I'm a Christian and I'm not offended by this. You shouldn't be either. 2015 has been a lot of things, but I think many of us can agree on the fact that it has definitely been a year of people being offended by everything. You can choose to walk through life offended by everything, even something as little as a cup, OR you can look at the big picture. The big picture is that it's just a cup. Don't be outraged over a cup. It's not worth it.
"And behold, Starbucks did conceive and bear a red cup, and call his name blasphemy", and "War on Christmas", reads one website. "Starbucks removed Christmas from their cups because they hate Jesus", reads another. Really world? Really brothers and sisters? Are you kidding me? Wake up! It's a cup. Jeffrey Fields, Starbucks CEO, did give a press release discussing this year's design as "a more open way to usher in the holidays." He went on to say that "Starbucks has become a place of sanctuary during the holidays. We're embracing the simplicity and the quietness of it." Whether or not he is being honest, or, if Starbucks did in fact change their design as not to "offend" anyone, I honestly don't care.
The bottom line is that people in every corner of the world are dying and never hearing about the person of Jesus. They die never knowing His love, and His Grace, and they die never knowing about the best, wildest, craziest adventure they could ever go on. That's sad. That's something we could and should be outraged about. It should be alarming, or even sickening to know that we are not fulfilling the Great Commission to "go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature" as Jesus talks about in the book of Mark. Imagine what would happen if we spent less time complaining to news outlets about trivial things like this, and more time fulfilling the greatest calling that God has given to each of us. Imagine all the people that would come to know Him and form a relationship with Him as a result. Wouldn't that be awesome?
I get it. I get that you're offended because you believe that the Westernizing of Christmas means that we have to be careful about who we say Merry Christmas to because they might be offended. You believe that the cup situation isn't okay because Starbucks is trying to be politically correct. You believe that the person of Jesus Christ is being taken away from us more and more every single day. You believe that this is a sign of the times.
I believe all of those things too. I believe them 100%. The difference is that I also believe that we should make every effort that we possibly can to put forth the Good News. We should be taking it everywhere! Everyone should be seeing His work! Instead, we are sitting back and becoming docile, little offended creatures. We can go through life holding onto offense and looking for every reason to be offended, or we can rise up and be those people who are different and who are set apart. Those are the people who change the world, and we can all be those people.