Facebook memories is a scary place. They appear at the top of your feed, a harmless little thing. You click on it to see what you were doing last New Years Eve, and two scrolls down BAM. Your high school self is spouting some super passive aggressive comment to your ex in the hopes they’d message you on AIM later. Your heart cringes and your stomach twists for every time you ever said the words “I hate drama. I just hate it. I avoid it at all costs.” Your hypocrisy stares you down with the Facebook Logo trademarking it for all eternity. Or is this just me? Partydiva428?
Yes, this was in fact my first official AOL Instant messenger screen name. I was in 6th grade. I had only been to parties that involved balloons and goodie bags, but I was the diva of that party. The diva, who haaated drama, mind you.
The diva, who on the elementary school playground, chose to hang out with the boys playing tag instead of fighting with the girls on which Disney princess I wanted to be. The diva, who in middle school, only had one or at most two good girl friends, who she could dish about her latest crush to. The diva, who in high school, started dating a guy at church camp, but by the following summer they were yelling their breakup at the top of their lungs on the volleyball court in front of everyone.
For most of my life, I have tried to avoid drama, but it followed me every where I went. No matter what friend group I joined, what boy I dated, and then I looked up one day and realized the only common denominator in this equation was me.
I think most of us have a love/hate relationship with drama. We do hate it. There is something taxing emotionally about it. However, there is a weird high that comes with drama causing us to engage with it.
When we hear drama, we mostly associate it with school and youthful gossip that we grow out of as we mature. But even in my late twenties, drama and gossip still run rampant. Every single workplace has drama involving that one coworker that is on everybody’s nerves. Every family has complexities and dynamics that cause stressful holidays. Every church is full of people, who bring their own brokenness, and drama inevitably ensues.
I think that is the key in all of this. People are dramatic. Our hearts are bent toward talking about others’ shortcomings so we don’t have to face our own. People are prone to gossip under the veil of “venting,” instead of addressing the person who hurt us in the first place. I am the queen of this. I am partydiva428. Even at 28 years old I find myself struggling with drama.
But the beauty is that our Lord meets us in the midst of our drama, in the midst of our gossip and slander, and in one of the most dramatic acts possible takes our place for us on a cross. On that cross he bore the punishment we deserve for our willful stirring of the pot in our friends, marriage, families, workplaces, schools, churches. He took on the pain caused by gossip, ill will, unkind words, and broken relationships. He endured the untrue, unjustified words of others, the betrayal of friends. Christ’s beautiful sacrifice was meant to bring our freedom from the pain and shackles of gossip and drama.
“So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. And the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness.” 2 Timothy 2: 22-25
So I know we all hate drama. We all hate gossip. It is right for us to hate it. Now, let’s put it in to action and run from it. Run from drama and into the arms of the One who freed you from it. Run to follow Christ and step in each of his footsteps that you would model your life after the One, who turned the other cheek, who addressed his family and friends with grace and truth, who corrected others with gentleness, who lived with compassion and empathy.
A life following Christ does not mean a life free of strife, hardship, or persecution. In fact, it’s more likely you will encounter drama, but the way in which we choose to respond in our every day moments and relationships can look so different.
So here we go 2019. Bring on the drama. I’ll keep following Jesus.