Starbucks Red Cup

Considering I am online all day for my job, there are still some things that I don’t realize are happening on the news or the Twitterverse so to speak. I actually kind of like it better that way sometimes. I don’t need to know every little thing that people are in an uproar about. It’s not necessary to be upset about every little thing.

I write this post for two reasons.

  1. I am actually surprised by how upset Christians are over this issue
  2. I was accused by a friend of siding with those who are mocking our King and Jesus by expressing my opinion that this is not direct persecution of the Church.

I wish to make three brief points and then pray that this issue blows over. It’s a shame that this is causing accusations within a community of believers.

  • Starbucks sells coffee and does not owe it to any religion to support their holidays. Let that simmer. Now, I 100% believe in Jesus. He is the only way to Heaven and I am forever grateful that He died for my sins. However, I don’t believe that as an American company, Starbucks owes us a Christmas themed coffee cup. Over the years they have decorated their cup with snowmen, Christmas string lights, carolers, etc. Never have they claimed to agree with my religious beliefs or decorated (to my knowledge through Google) the cups with a manger, or a church, or baby Jesus. With that said, loads of retailers partake in the Christmas profit and will sell just about anything red or green or festive to reap the rewards of the holiday. However, if you go to any retail location, they do not owe you anything. If I go to a Jewish store, I’m not going to disrespect their beliefs and ask why they only have Hannukah items. I feel like this is the same thing. If God, knowing who He is, allowed us to have free will, I think I as a Christian, I can bestow that same grace to other people.
  • The color of a cup is not real persecution. I think we all realize as Americans that we are very privileged. We don’t know real suffering. We are not refugees, we are not being wiped out for worshipping Jesus, we are not being beheaded, we are not being kidnapped and sold into sex slavery, etc. Now that is a blanket statement. I know that. But I have a very hard time understanding why we feel like as a Church, not having a paper cup decorated to fit the Holidays compares to the current Refugee Crisis, the Egyptian Beheading, the Chibok school girl kidnapping, the number of yet to be rescued sex slaves,  the Nepal earthquake, etc. I feel like the fact that Christians see this as a crisis proves how lucky we are to not be experiencing actual persecution. We are able to gather on Sundays to worship Jesus, we are able to go to the grocery store or food pantry when we are hungry, we are able to lock the doors to our homes and apartment knowing we will not be stolen out of our beds. I believe strongly that when we elevate small issues like this we belittle the severity of the actual issues our brothers and sisters in the world are experiencing.
  • We should not fill each other’s mouths with words or motives. I don’t like the fact that Starbucks chose to color their cup red, and this has been blown up into a full fledged war on Christianity. It’s a cup. Maybe they liked the minimalism of a red cup and their green logo. It’s still Christmas-y. I also don’t like that people can’t express how silly this looks, like I did, without being accused of being worldly, or worse being lumped into the same category as those who mock Jesus. Jesus didn’t go around starting fights with people. Luckily God sees our hearts. I’m sure some Christians feel like they are defending God and their heart is pure, but some of what I am seeing happen to myself and others is not very Christ-like. This verse is perfect for what I am trying to say:

    Proverbs 17:9 (AMP)

    He who covers and forgives an offense seeks love,
    But he who repeats or gossips about a matter separates intimate friends.

If you are easily offended or trying to cause shame or blame, you or not seeking love. And you are causing dissension Romans 12 in the MSG also says it well “Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.”. What I mean is, our culture loves to “roast” each other. Everything is a mockery or a debate or a shaming. No one separates their own beliefs from someone else’s to try to understand where they are coming from. Instead of assuming the worst or trying to change someone’s opinion I think it is important to listen. You can agree to disagree, you can share what you believe, but there is a certain tact to it. I feel that this is severely lacking in this Starbucks conversation.

Let us remember grace for others. Not everyone believes what we do. Not everyone is your enemy either. Don’t attack your brothers and sisters in Christ and likewise be willing to listen to those who do not have the same religion as you.

I’ll leave you this reminder of love:

1 Corinthians 13:5 (AMP)

It is not rude; it is not self-seeking, it is not provoked [nor overly sensitive and easily angered]; it does not take into account a wrong endured.

Commitment to God provokes persecution

Matthew 5 (MSG)

You’re Blessed

1-2 When Jesus saw his ministry drawing huge crowds, he climbed a hillside. Those who were apprenticed to him, the committed, climbed with him. Arriving at a quiet place, he sat down and taught his climbing companions. This is what he said:

“You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.

“You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.

“You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.

“You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.

“You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for.

“You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.

“You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.

10 “You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom.

11-12 “Not only that—count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don’t like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble.

I’ve been struggling with a co-worker. This person over the past two months has gotten progressively more and more antagonistic towards me. I don’t know what to do about it other than to turn the other cheek as best I can and to bring it up to my boss when it has crossed a professional line.

This person sits right next to me which means I have a front row seat to various accusations and insults.

Over the past month these are some things that I have been told:

  • You look fatter
  • You are trying to play democratic games in the office
  • You are prejudice towards this client because they are from the same country as me
  • You are “Mother Mary”
  • Your college isn’t that great
  • You need to learn how to obey what I say
  • You are siding with this dept just by delegating internal work
  • You are trying to get me in trouble

All of these things are false and after speaking about this to my family and friends, I am reminded that sometimes just being a Christian makes people hate you. Being good at your job makes people hate you. Being sure of who you are makes people hate you.

It’s disheartening to know that this person speaks the above lies. It’s not even the fact that they are lies that hurt. It’s more of, hey, I’m trying to do my job, and so are you. Why do you have to be so spiteful? Why am I so interesting to you that you need to make up reasons to try to start an argument with me?

I don’t post this for attention. I’m posting this as a reminder, that sometimes we forget that this is the world we live in. As Christians you are looked at like dirt, like a clown, like a total fool. Sometimes even as a women you can be looked at as if you are drama, or not truthful. I’ve experienced all of these things and they have brought a heaviness to my heart some days. I listen to an entire worship CD every day on my way to work. I meditate and pray on my commute. I cling to God because my patience is thin for these attacks. I trust God.

But it can also be exhausting to continue to fortify yourself in the midst. Or to hear the buzzing of these “bees” around you. Sometimes its not the words themselves, its just the irritation of being stung over and over.

If you are experiencing something like this in your work or at home fill in your name below and be of good cheer. I am with you. God is with you.

Mine:

Not only that—Jessica is blessed every time people put her down or throw her out or speak lies about her to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. Jessica can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don’t like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you, Jessica are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble.

For you:

Not only that—____ is blessed every time people put ___ down or throw ___ out or speak lies about ___ to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. ___ can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don’t like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that ___ are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble.