image by sarah mccoy photo

Monday, February 6, 2012

I Already Gave You My Money

I recently did a favor for a girl scout.  I ordered Sports Illustrated magazine from the daughter of my dad’s coworker.  I thought I had done a kind thing.  Until I found this postcard enclosed in my order packet.
It turns out, SHE has done ME a favor.  Or so I’m to inform her by means of this postcard.  I can even attach a sticker from an enclosed sheet, my choice of several with encouraging messages to further build her self-esteem. 

Soliciting is awkward.  You are often putting people out.  When I had to sell pizzas and hoagies door to door as a kid, my mother called it character-building.  But now it’s an opportunity for hollow self-esteem building, instead.

Even in the case of the single exception to the awkwardness rule, Girl Scout Cookies, the selling of which IS a favor to me, I’m not sure the girl needs a personal commendation for it.  Did she invent the cookie?  Bake it herself?

We’ve all heard the cogent arguments that self-esteem-building apart from real accomplishment ends badly.  But for Christians, there’s another element wherein self-esteem, good or bad, is at best irrelevant and at worst an obstacle to forming solid identity.  One of my favorite preachers said in a recent sermon that while self-loathing needs the cure of the gospel, so does self-love of the coolest-kid-in-school, cheerleading-captain, girl-scout-post-card-recipient variety. 

Confidence can be developed through real accomplishment.  Identities should be built on the foundation of Christ’s undeserved yet unshakeable love for us.  Neither can be earned through guilting people into magazine purchases.  Dang.

1 comment:

  1. That's hilarious. It almost makes me want to include encouragement postcards when I turn in work projects or make the bed. Almost.