I have to admit, I've had a lot of embarrassing moments in my life, to the point where I cringe and close my eyes thinking about them. There have been times all of us have been embarrassed at one point or another. We've all said something inappropriate and have caused people to laugh at us. In my case, it usually involves saying something I don’t actually know the right meaning of. Many will point out that I'm sheltered or don't know any better. Although it is no big deal I still get a tad sensitive over it.
Most of the time when it comes to insults or even harmless banter that is directed towards us, we all of a sudden go on the defensive mode. I mean how dare they insult us? We work hard in our lives and are pretty likable people, so why are they taking jabs at us? We hide behind our self-preservation because we are afraid our reputation is at risk.
I've noticed a lot of the times when my embarrassing moments occur, they usually end in two ways: one is me taking myself too seriously or the other is me brushing off the situation as if nothing happened. I normally prefer the latter. Sometimes we are consumed with what others think of us and strive to maintain a positive self-image. We work hard and carefully watch what we say so that people will look at us in a positive light. This is an extremely careful way of living, and it’s a way of living that sucks out any joy or light-heartiness. When we take ourselves too seriously, we end up becoming our own god.
When we prize our reputation, we have this idea of our ideal perfect self that we try to measure up to everyday. We leave no room to laugh at ourselves or too simply give ourselves a little grace. I remember the other day when I was driving over the interstate and I was thinking of all the little things I had to do that day, going on autopilot mode. Then I realized that I had completely forgotten my lunch at home, even after I had carefully placed it on the counter so I wouldn’t forget it. It seemed like no big deal, but I was thinking to myself, “how could I be so forgetful and why do I suck?” That day I was completely focused on myself and my to-do list so much that even the simple things, like forgetting my lunch, made me feel like a complete failure.
Here’s the wonderful thing: we don't need to take our reputations, to-do lists, grades, jobs, and responsibilities too seriously, for Jesus has already freed us of it all. He carried away the burden of our shame and made us realize that our agendas and reputation are a lot smaller then what we think they are. His agenda and mission is greater than ours, and when we see that, it frees us up to not take ourselves too seriously and laugh at ourselves often. At the end of the day, my to-do list is unfinished and I am laughing at myself after I retrieved my lunch from home.