That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
~2 Corinthians 12:10~
Sometimes, you just have to say, “Okay, let’s fight this out!” When you’ve avoided the battle and you’ve tried to compromise and you’ve bent over backwards trying to please those who cannot be pleased, sometimes your only recourse is to apply the Spiritual Smackdown to the situation. Now, I’ve been trying very hard to be good. I’ve taken lots and lots of abuse at the hands of those who have what appears to be no regard for the concept of “love thy neighbor.” At this point, I’ve run out of cheeks to turn.
It all started a while back when I was asked to remove a certain Bible quote from the footer of my work e-mail. As a former Human Resource Manager, I can certainly understand that there must be a division between our personal beliefs and what our employer wishes to portray as its image in the community. My problem with having to remove this quote lies in the fact that I am a librarian and the Bible is the best-selling book of all time. There is no reason for anyone with half a brain to believe that my inclusion of a Bible quote in the footer of my e-mail would indicate that the entire school district is of the Christian persuasion. No more than the inclusion of a quote from Abraham Lincoln would indicate that the entire district was Republican. Or a quote from Charlton Heston would indicate that the district supports the NRA. Maybe Charlton Heston is a bad example, though; he was in that movie about the Ten Commandments. But, I digress. The big issue was that my supervisor was obviously offended by the inclusion of this Bible quote and our employee-supervisor relationship was ruined from that point forth.
The quote, of course, was not meant to cause strife. It was actually just an uplifting verse I had found and wanted to share with others. When I initially put the quote on my e-mail, I wasn’t even sure how I felt about Christianity. I just knew I agreed with the quote and thought it was very inspirational. The whole incident, however; has changed my perspective and solidified my faith. I am proud to be a Christian and I will fight for the right to be a follower of Jesus Christ if it comes to that. The Holy Spirit has settled in my soul and I am now willing and able to fight to preserve the rights of Christians and to work toward instilling Christ-like values in the hearts of anyone within earshot. I don’t wish to do this in a spirit of anger, but I will not be backed into a corner where my belief in God is concerned.
I’ve said before that I do not trust in my employer for my salvation. I do not believe that they are doing what is right and I wholeheartedly feel that they are now trying to build a case for my termination that will be based on anything but my performance. I am certain, however; that if God wants me there, then that’s where I will remain. I have never used my position in the schools to preach to the students. I am not overly spiritual in my dealings with other staff members, in fact, I’m sure there are many who have no idea what I believe because they either haven’t had the time or they haven’t taken the time to get to know me. I don’t walk around with Bible in hand, spouting Scripture or singing hymns, though I don’t think that would be a terrible thing. I do not seek out opportunities to try and force my beliefs on others. The only place where I freely express my viewpoint on the Christian faith is here on my personal blog and in other writing which is in no way a part of my job. I do not give students information that will lead them to my blog and I certainly don’t advertise to anyone at my job that I write here. If a student or parent stumbles upon this particular post, it will not be because I have led them here. Those who are friends with me on Facebook already know that I am a Christian and they also know that if my faith offends them, that they have the freedom to not be my friend anymore. I would hope that no one would allow a difference of faith to sever the ties of friendship, but I, of course, cannot and do not wish to control the actions of others.
Throughout all of this, I’ve tried to be a good employee. I’ve had some personal struggles over this past year in dealing with divorce and its repercussions. I have a daughter who has been struggling with the reality of the separation of her parents. I also have health issues which have made it impossible for me to the “perfect” employee in terms of attendance. It didn’t help matters that every time I turned around, I was on the receiving end of criticism for the way I do my job when, in fact, my supervisor is rarely around to witness any part of how I do my work. I’m not sure what the basis of the criticism is, but it certainly isn’t observation or communication. For a long time, I tried to take it with a grain of salt and just go on and do what I was at work to do. Unfortunately, once someone has it in for you, you are at the mercy of their mood.
I know that, taken out of context, this post will sound truly awful to some. But, I feel the need to just put everything out there for my own sake. As an employee, I have been unfairly judged and it seems there are no channels through which I can effectively complain. I’ve gone through the regular chains and now feel that it is time to declare that if we must fight, then a fight it will be. I am a Christian and I will not change that no matter how much you hate it. If you come at me with complaints, you’d better have more than your ability to read and quote a policy working in your favor. People like you have worked hard to make sure that we have as little of God as possible in our schools and it is this kind of thinking that has destroyed any foundation that was once in place. It is this kind of thinking that makes kids believe it is okay to be disrespectful and disobedient. You, personally, may not like who I am or what I stand for. You may not understand it and you may think it’s the worst thing in the world that a person could be. But, I am a Christian. I follow God’s will for my life. I love and appreciate Jesus Christ for the sacrifice He made for me. Deal with it!
“The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.””