Saturday, July 18, 2015

Swearing - Men do it so why not us?

A few weeks ago I went to see a new release movie with my husband. Admittedly, in order to find what we think we might like all we do is see whats on. That Saturday we had two choices - "Entourage" and "Spy". Both were in the race for being a big seller at the box office. I heard that Entourage was just a male version of Sex and the City and I thought 'Bleh' so we decided on 'Spy" instead. If you want to read a Christian review of 'Spy prior to watching it yourself (or prior to critiquing it) please click on the link -  Plugged In review.

The movie is essentially a comedy with Melissa McCarthy as the lead actress with Jason Statham, Jude Law, Rose Byrne and Miranda Hart carrying the weight of the supporting cast. McCarthy plays a character that initially gives you the impression that shes the Bridget Jones of the CIA world. Dumpy, passive but smiley and a tad gullible with a rather pathetic crush on her James Bond 'ish colleague. People patronize her, belittle her, walk past her, cold shoulder her, take credit for her ideas, her creativity and her intelligence. Meanwhile its the rough 'n tumble, ever swearing, oh so humble (*cough cough) Jason Statham and Mr Sauve Nice Guy (*cough cough) Jude Law take the credit for bravery and everything else but the rotation of the sun.

Essentially, an accidental mess up happens, someone is (*ehem) killed, agents identities become 
compromised and known to terrorists and theres no one left to save the world from nuclear annihilation. Except McCarthy who tentatively and bravely steps up to the plate of secret agent. Even as she enters the process of joining the Cool Spy clique shes still undermined, made fun of and deliberately given unflattering aliases with gadgets disguised as hemorrhoid cream and stool softeners. You really feel for her. Watching this movie, Im sure we in the audience were all thinking 'These people are really harsh to her.'

Theres a good portion of this character that I really identify with. We find out that she wasn't always so passive and showed promising talent as a (somewhat) aggressive but capable secret agent in the making. We find out that over time, Mr 'Bond' (Jude Law) recognizes and is intimidated by her talent and takes her down and out of his way, by way of denigrating insults disguised as pity kindness, add to that her comments about her Mom's horribly disparaging remarks she got growing up. As women we have all experienced this kind of painful social ostracism whether by men or other women. We see in the movie and we know rightly and think "That's not right." 

Within a day of entering her new spy post in Paris McCarthy's character is fed up and goes awol with the pre planned hands off role. She gets rid of her grandma alias and invents her own. 



Long story short, she saves the day, proves her worth, removes the doormat she was lying under and encourages herself with a new boldness and beauty (Parisian fashion and a make over help) and tenacity that makes even the cocky Jason Statham admit she's pretty cool. But is that it?

I really enjoyed the movie but for one thing - the swearing (and the completely disgusting and irrelevant penis glimpses). Of course I knew there would be ouchee moments in the fight scenes, the movie does say "SPY" after all. No doubt McCarthy has come along way since her perky cuddly Gilmore Girls/Mike 'n Molly days. No doubt shes trying to prove her worth to the movie world that shes beyond type casting as the token fat girl and I agree, she is way talented beyond the dull roles that Hollywood typically forces on plus size women. And by the way I do not EVER think she is not gorgeous the whole way through (FYI).

But does a woman have to be crass a million times over to prove herself that she is talented? I know what you're thinking - But boys swear and are adored! Why can't we swear and be admired too? Well here I am to debunk this stupidity. Quite frankly Im also out to debunk the theory that boys who swear are admired by women. Maybe so, but not by intelligent self respecting women. This argument of 'boys do something gross, crass, disgusting, immoral, dishonourable so we should be able to do it too' is a total cop out and shows a spiral down, unintelligent, 'lets jump off the cliff too' lemming like reasoning. Its an insult to the strong men who choose to actually respect themselves, the women around them and the world amongst them without an attached F* word. The other problem I have with this movie is that it paints only one route for women to take in order to be bold, brave, inspiring and gorgeous - be aggressive, no, not just aggressive, be disgusting. Its the same weak mentality that little immature boys have in the playground - who can piss the longest, spit the furtherest and cuss the loudest. We all know they're a joke.

Let me tell you, those little boys who unfortunately can also grow a beard, drive a car and impregnate a woman - is (and let me be emphatically clear) - extremely unattractive and in my definition, a failure of a man. They are representatives of a class of people who do far more hurt than good. In reality they are not funny, they are hurtful and abusive. They are not strong, they are weak. It is the perverted imagination of Hollywood who attaches the facade of an abusive man to a Jason Statham or a Jude Law, add a dash of American slapstick humor and the world laps it up and women are sadly convinced that in order to prove that we are truly "free" and "liberated" as women that we need to act like THAT.  

What saddened both me and my husband was that we agreed that we think we still could have immensely enjoyed the movie had they chosen not to put a single profanity in it, probably more so. And we think the movie still would have knocked box office records and made a ton of money too. Melissa McCarthy nor Jason Statham for that matter don't need a toilet mouth to prove to me how talented they are. I KNOW they are talented in their craft and I respect them for that alone.

In studying both the pendulum behaviours of passivity vs aggression, both are ultimately destructive and dysfunctional and overwhelmingly unhelpful. Neither are sustainable. Neither are healthy. 

In Fierce Women by Kimberly Wagner, the author talks about powerful women - fierce women

"I never wanted to be a wimpy woman, I've always been drawn to strong women - aren't you? A refined strength has an alluring appeal. I love to see a fierce woman in action. Nothing fazes her. She's indomitable, detirmined and she's a passionate force beyond contention... Im not talking about ugly fierceness that is really just raw uncontrolled aggression. There is a beauty to the right kind of fierceness. Not the brand that recklessly walks over people or is rooted in self centred goals. Not the fierceness that produces Ice Queens or conniving shrews but a fierceness that is humble strength and power under control. The kind that grabs on the hem of God's will and won't let go. One that determinedly stands strong in a gale of opposition. The kind that looks fear in the eye without blinking and confidently forges ahead."

Then she explains its unrestrained ugly side:

"Characteristics of a destructively fierce woman:
 - She establishes herself as her own authority. Her identity flows from the false pretension that she's in charge of her own life and her independence is her highest value.
- She's always pulled by the lure of "more." Her desires are never satisfied so she does not know contentment.
- She's unaware that ingratitude, pride and fear are the driving components of her life.
- She's obsessive about things that matter to her. She lives with a self centred agenda.
- She longs for love and affection but often goes in too hard and comes out swinging.
- She goes to battle often, mistaking her belligerence for heroism.
- She grabs for power, and no one and nothing prevents her from getting her way.
- She uses her strength to bully others. She does not recognize it as bullying, but her continual criticisms, negative perspective and harsh tones eat away at people like acid.
- She is often involved with conflicts with others.
- She is harsh in her honesty with others and is proud of it.
- She walks in arrogance and pride but is blind to her own lack of humility. She views meek behaviour as a sign of weakness. She sincerely believes her personal conflicts stem from others ineptness, lack of spirituality or inferior behaviour.
- She craves power over others and has mastered the art of controlling others through subtle manipulation."

Phew, what a list!

The thing is, fierceness has both a wonderful and a horrible side of it which ever way is bridled and encouraged. I fear that young (and older) women are being mistaken into thinking that movies like 'Spy' are always representing a positive fierceness. There were wonderful examples of it in the movie no doubt about it, but they were imperceptible nuggets in comparison to the tsunami of destructive fierceness and blatant F bombs. Theres nothing cool or even liberating about that word. It doesn't make you strong when you say it. In saying it you're not joining the world of strong men but weak men.

A woman that watches her mouth watches her purity. She is modest. She is not weak or passive but strong. Purity and modesty have just as much to say about the tongue than just her anatomy and we women are particularly bad examples for ripping down rather than building up our sisters and brothers verbally. We know the weapon we bear. And if you think your tongue and how you use it is not a big deal then think about Amanda Todd.

I am not perfect of this either. I have failed at this time and time again. I know it is an issue because I am often convicted by the Holy Spirit, not by man or my words. My fear is not whether I said enough but if I said too much or in a poor way. As women we are life givers. Not just biologically but emotionally and intellectually and spiritually as well. Ladies you might not know it but men (especially our husbands) search and crave after our verbal acknowledgement of them, our encouragement of their presence and thankfulness of their giftings. We need to do it with each other as well. We need to fiercely love each other but not in harshness. Call each other to repent but with humility. 

Let our words be life. 

You don't have to be your Dad - Thoughts from an AoM blog post.

You Don’t Have to Be Your Dad: How to Become Your Family’s Transitional Character

Above is an excellent thought provoking post by 'The Art of Manliness' blog.

I think this can apply to young and older women too and with the same solutions as mentioned on the blog. Growing up, the marriages I saw looked like a masterpiece that had had someone scribble offensive graffiti over it. A lot of people agree with me that this is the new norm but sadly don't think theres anything worth salvaging and just call it obsolete. "Why marry, its stupid and everyone divorces anyway" is the common argument. Thats like taking the Sistine Chapel and its entire beautiful frescoes painstakingly painted by hand by Michelangelo and over the space of 50 years ++ more and more immature stupid people go and spray paint an F word and a bunch of male genitalia here and there and saying "Oh well, look how ugly and useless the sistine chapel is! We should just get rid of it now because its disgusting and will cause more harm than good now.." 

Is this what marriage looks like to us nowadays? Can we even see the picture anymore?
I think most people would be horrified at doing that to the Sistine Chapel!  Do they not know that there are people out there in the world whose career it is to restore ruined art? Like marriage, there are people out there who know what a good marriage is and have tools and resources ready for us! Yet most run around like headless chickens saying "No, no no noooo! It doesn't exist anymore!" Its not that marriage fails people, its that people fail marriage. And by getting rid of it in doing so you're getting rid of a priceless treasure whose worth and blessings we never noticed until its long gone a few generations and we finally realise when its too late how universally wonderful and worthwhile it it was. If all you saw was a an ugly piece of graffiti growing up, don't throw it away! Clean it up!

But cleaning up is easier said than done, its extremely time demanding and exhausting and its likely you'll get little to zero help from those who contributed to the graffiti. The hope is, that by standing out and making a change some members of your family MIGHT change. But I suspect they might not.

After God led the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt and into the Promised Land, with many of the survivors, despite being taken out of physical bondage they still carried the emotional and spiritual wounds of bondage. Today we would call this Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Despite after seeing miracle after miracle they could not see out of of their visual lens of slavery and as such it impaired their ability to think freely and maturely. Of the millions that left Egypt, only two people were able to see beyond their past bondage and seek their inheritance in faith - Joshua and Caleb. The rest could not. God saw that they were either afraid, unwilling or just plain disobedient to look to Him and trust Him, so he forced them to stay in the Wilderness so the first generation could die off and a new generation could start again and walk into Caanan with the right mindset, resources and above all, faith in God. 

For many of us, generational "sins" may only leave with the passing of elders. In the story of the Exodus, the Israelites had to leave a 400 year old abusive relationship with nothing. They with the leadership of Moses were courageous in leaving but were incapacitated to create a new legacy. As such it was the children and grandchildren of those former slaves who were trained and taught to be men and women of God, children of God. It was those children and grandchildren that went on to conquer the Canaanite cities and kingdoms under Joshua, and those who forgot, turned away from God and returned to their "slave/sin" mindset were in turn destroyed by their enemies.

For those of us women who want to be transitional representatives to our old or new families how do we go about doing it?

- First of all you need to submit yourself before God and ask for a revelation of his purposes of life, marriage and (potential) motherhood. Ask God to reveal to you where your family attitudes, values and practices did not run in accord with his design for the family. THEN ask him if there was anything from your family culture that you should retain. Pray on this, and take notes, it will take you a while to get this all down. Compare and contrast your memories and thoughts with scripture.  

- Second, be in community in your church. The bible says we are his adopted children and Jesus is our big brother and church is our family. If you are the only christian in your family, you will need 'God Parents' (as such) to teach and guide you. Im not saying desert any relevant or useful advice from your biological parents or relatives, but if you worship Jesus as your Lord and Saviour and your immediate family do not, undoubtedly your goals and dreams in life will want to submit and be in line with His Will. Non Christian's by not seeing or loving Jesus as you, will have no comprehension of this and therefore there is a strong possibility their ideas will not come under your same line of reasoning. At church ask around for a godly couple. To find this couple their reputation will undoubtedly precede them by the fact that others will speak highly of them. Seek them out and without being a total stalker, become friends with them and over time humbly ask them questions on things you're finding difficult and they will give you some solid advice and will model their marriage to you. Get involved and serve where they serve. The best role modelling I got was of a husband/wife team doing their ministry with kids and puppets. I didn't just sit back and demand answers, I got involved and came to really enjoy their company, watching the two of them, getting to know them, their marriage and also I came to really enjoy puppets and kids as a side bonus. Observe the husband and how he treats and communicates to his wife and vice versa. Make mental notes. Just make sure its a two way street relationship, and not just you constantly wanting to leech something off them.  

- Read!
There are so many great books out there that can help you on this! Of course we now live in a time of information overload where theres a book on EVERYTHING under the sun. How does one sieve out the garbage from the really useful stuff. Or as Jesus said it - Separating the chaff from the wheat? First thing to NOT do - do not ask your peers indiscriminately what they're reading. Most likely what they're reading is stupid, esp if its about handsome, rich and abusive boyfriends, 100 year old glittery vampires, or if it starts with Cosmo and shows more skin than a playboy. You can do so much better than that. Your fore Mothers did not waste their time protesting for the right to give literacy to their daughters - YOU, so that you would go and read trash. By doing so you're spitting on their legacy and insulting your own intelligence. 

Reading good books starts with reliable sources. Again go to the older reputable women (and men!) in your church. While you're hanging out with them, ask them what they read or if they know of anyone else in the church who is discerning and well read. Im 26 now and I have a pretty extensive library for someone my age, but I still enjoy hearing about new books to search out from other godly women in my church. My husband thinks its weird but whenever I meet a preacher or teacher or anyone I respect, I always ask "What are you currently reading? Whats you're favorite book in your bookshelf?" Speaking of male recommendations, one of the BEST books I have ever read that helped me as a woman was a book written by a male Pastor for men and it was on Manhood ('Into the Wilderness' by John Eldredge if you must know). It was given to me by a male christian friend when I was 19, and it blew my mind away! From reading that book, it was like a light went off in my head and I had this knowledge of what on earth guys have to deal with when it comes to sin. It made me a much more understanding and compassionate woman and future wife to the man God placed in my life. When my husband walked into my life, I gave him my copy and his reaction after reading it was the same and now we own multiple copies of it and we just hand em out like candy! A good book is always worth sharing, and often the best ones are the ones we hear about by word of mouth. 

So anyway, what Im hoping to soon have on this blog is have a tab bar on the top of this blog and one of the tabs be called 'Books' which can link readers to a solid, discerning, organized list of books that are worthwhile to read. Or you could just add me as a friend on and check out my books there. You don't have to necessarily read marriage themed books to be positively impacted to be a better daughter of God, better daughter, sister, wife, friend. They help of course if anything is a good read, don't forget the bible is a great book too!

- Be mindful of the influence and choice of people you allow to be around you. Our choice of friends really says a lot about what we value. Lets just be honest, its easy to get inspired by your friends and its just as easy to be swayed into evil or "respectable" sins by those we call friends. If you used to be into partying, and drinking and not doing much else and your friends also did those activities along side you, what will happen if your life changed suddenly from those previous values? If getting drunk on the weekend was your illustration of meaning and fun in your life what happens if you get sick and you can't party anymore? What happens to the person who moves beyond partying and gets married and has some kids, and their only friends are people who now have no idea what's going on in their life? A level of closeness in that relationship is now gone, because they will no longer be able to identify with each other and suddenly the world becomes lonelier. Always strive to have friends in different age brackets. Having younger female friends will force you to often evaluate your behaviour and what you model (because you know someone is observing you and your Christian walk). Having older friends (by older I mean someone a generation or two older) will allow you to have a glimpse of whats coming up in life. All of this will change your thinking from YOLO to

To a certain degree this happened to me in highschool. I was dealing with some pretty horrific issues at home, and I sought out school as relief from pain. As I got older I noticed that my group of friends were more into talking about who was losing their virginity, or getting drunk on the weekend, or who was saying what about someone else. It was tiresome keeping up with who was apparently barred from our social group and who wasn't as it changed so often! And because I was extremely invested in getting into a specific career, whereby I had to make high grades and get into a particular college that was 500km away and not the local university everyone else was going to, I ended up spending a lot of my time in the library either crying in a corner over my home situation while trying to smother the pain with a novel or just plain studying. Im sure this absence and increasing standoffishness was noticed by the group and I definitely contributed to the move of being pushed out of that social group. I may have consented to that happening but it still felt like a hurtful low blow especially the gossip that I had to endure. It was an incredibly lonely time for me. I would not have coped with that period if it weren't for my then older boyfriend encouraging me on in my studies, my adult friends from church who prayed for me, my grandmother who knew my situation and was an ever present and gracious shoulder for me to lean on and my relationship with Jesus. Yeah I was walking through the valley but I knew he was right there with me. 

- Seek professional counseling/support if needed, preferably Christian. One of the biggest interventions in my life was in highschool and finding the courage to meet with a school counsellor. I was at a point where I frequently got funny looks from my peers and teachers from my close calls with falling apart. Occasionally I would just burst into tears for no reason. Or anger or just emotion. I remember a being in a class where domestic abuse was being discussed and a female classmate said the most irate, insensitive, ignorant and unintentionally cruel comment and given my home situation I knew she was completely wrong and I just flipped out and screamed at her. Knowing what she said was out of ignorance, and seeing my own response to a naive school girl's ignorance showed me that I needed help. I met with the school counselor and to my great joy I discovered that she was a Christian woman who deeply loved God and became a school counselor as her ministry calling. The list is too long with how that woman not only quietly discipled me but also taught me that I wasn't going crazy, there was a rhyme and a reason to what was happening and it wasn't in my head. She legitimized and helped me identify my pain and helped me see what I could do about it and who else I could bring into help. Another book I highly recommend to others is one that she gifted me and helped me see that I wasn't trapped, that I did have a choice about what was happening to me. And because of that book I was able to pray and dramatically and bravely overcome a near assault by my step father at the time from which he never physically touched me again. That book was 'Boundaries' by Dr. Cloud & Townsend. I have no idea what happened to that counselor, I can't even remember her name but I know she and her giftings and resources were a gift from God. nb - She also eventually helped me move out when the timing became right and appropriate and she supported me by telling me my spiritual and legal rights and govt supports that I was entitled to.

Water - Where does yours come from?

I remember where I was during the Christchurch Earthquake. I remember I had just sat down to my computer at my Mum's house with a cup of tea in my hand when I heard what sounded like a freight train coming through our house then seconds later being thrown by an unseen force off my chair (spilling my cup of tea of course) then feeling as if someone grabbed my stomach and my body and moved it across the room and back again. It was probably the most terrifying and surreal 20 seconds of my life. In all honesty I felt as if the earthquake lasted minutes not a mere 20 seconds but in hindsight, 20 seconds is a long time for an earthquake. Its amazing how the body responds in those moments, I instinctively crawled to the my bedroom door and pulled myself up amidst the violent shaking and brace myself against the door frame. In that door frame I actually felt safer than under my desk which was next to a huge glass window. From my position I could see things and hear things falling and smashing. As silly as it sounds I remember looking in horror as the glass orb lampshade in the hallway - a lampshade my mother loved, waved around in the tossing then finally fell and smashed to smithereens and I thought stupidly, "Oh gosh shes going to be so disappointed to lose that orb.." 

So many things happened in the wake of that event that still leave me and every other Cantabrian who experienced it shook up and I don't think any of us will go back to the way we were before.

Within days of the event, all the neighborhoods got given the most basic of necessities - Water. Many of us on the East side (and some on the West side) lost our electricity and plumbing for two weeks. When you lose electricity and plumbing, your life becomes suddenly so focused on one thing - get water. I think so many of us took it for granted. Water became the focus of our lives. We needed it for toileting, washing, and cooking. And our lives revolved around how to keep those three uses separate for our own healths sake. 

Personally I had spent the last 4 years coming close to the brink of a nervous breakdown over my education, my future, my plans. Enduring those two weeks and the weeks that followed somehow very suddenly simplified my life and my school issues and school related stress suddenly became obsolete:
  • Walk the couple of blocks to get water with giant empty containers.
  • Fill up said containers from the water tanker provided
  • Scratch head as one wonders how to carry giant heavy water laden containers home
  • Put wide hips to use as containers are carried home 
  • Make breakfast for fiance and Mum on the gas bbq (we thankfully had!)
  • Heat water in a pot on the bbq
  • Carefully wash any dirty dishes with as little water as possible
  • Walk to the beach nearby, jump in surf and wash off sweat from body and wash hair with some shampoo I took along.
  • Discover 3 days later that because of the earthquake, human excrement from the sewage plant got into our local beach waters. Doh. I couldn't even enjoy the ocean after that.
  • Next day, wash in beach and avoid water in eyes or mouth.. No reported sightings of poo.
  • Spend rest of day reading, listening to radio, using up water supply and digging a toilet in our back yard.
  • Go to bed at sun down.
  • Repeat process.

What on earth am I getting at here?

In Jesus day (and still in many places around the world today) peoples lives revolved around water. For us Westerners, the presence of water is still around us but more subtle - our morning hot shower (water), our wake up coffee/tea (water), the fruit smoothie we drink after the gym (sort of water), the food we cook for dinner (most likely using water), the hot chocolate we give our kids before bed - water water water. Because of my 2 week post-earthquake experience I feel I now have a tiny understanding of how precious it is and how hard we need to work for it on a daily basis. Take away water at the most basic level and watch peoples lives and hearts disintegrate. I recently watched a reenactment of Mel Gibson's 'Mad Max' at the movies, and while there were many components of the movie that were stupid and a bit too gross for my tastes there was a common theme that I found interesting in that it affected all the characters, the need and control of water.

If the director was trying to portray the epitome of an abusive and evil leadership, I thought they did a good job (watch video here). I spent the entire movie disgusted by the appearance and behaviour of the pale fat Darth Vader guy. Perhaps his outside was representative in his inside as well. Because he owned the water, the people depended on him to survive and unfortunately that likely led to worship and cult leadership and practices. I was disturbed by his statement of "Do not depend on water, for you will resent its absence." After cruelly pouring out momentarily a huge waterfall of fresh water to people who not only look thirsty but miserable yet hopeful as well. We all know his statement is ridiculous. We NEED water. For life to survive, any life, we need water.

Jesus knew this. That's why he called himself "Living Water" (John 4:10). Thats either a true or a dangerously arrogant statement to make, placing oneself in the same necessary category as fresh water. He was saying that human existence needed him to thrive. Thats why the religious Jew's tried to stone/arrest him numerous times, because to them it was a statement of his equality with God. To them it was blasphemy. Jesus also declared that he was there at the creation of the world and he was there during the time of Abraham and Moses. Hes saying he invented the water. When asked by one who he was and what authority he had, he said "I Am." (John 8:57-59) If you're not familiar with the Old Testament, he was pretty much saying that it was he in the burning bush, he that led them through the wilderness through Moses, he that provided food and water to the Israelities.

To many people (and still today), these statements offend greatly. I feel we're now in an age that reflects early Roman times where multiple gods are celebrated and worshiped in supposed "freedom" and those who disagree and point to one man from Galilee are crushed. 

For me personally Ive seen and tasted the other side, the side where I am constantly thirsty and I have no comprehension of Christ's achievement. I run after this and that and Im not safisfied. I know this is true for others because the magazine rack at the checkout lane supports this. Since the invention of the Women's mag (and more lately Men's mags) and the conglomerate giant that is Oprah (and her other cohorts), I see there is a constant drive to sell what will work in peoples lives and give them meaning. And they always sell because why else are advertising willing to spend billions on ads in those pages or our tv screens? And I know they have never found what they claim, for if they had they would state it in one edition and would be the only magazine on the rack. I see constant slogans of "Better sex!" "Better money!" "Better contentment, peace, joy, compassion" etc etc. As US the band says "And I still haven't found... What Im looking for." 

On the other hand, the bible I read has not changed since it was put together and has forever stayed on the best seller list. Perhaps thats why people hate it. Same old, same old they say. What if same old works? What if "Same old" tells me its not about what I in my imperfect flawed self cannot do but what someone else has perfectly done on my behalf?

The bible says those who don't know Christ are building broken cisterns and then drinking from it (Jeremiah 2:13). In other words they're drinking from something like a toilet. Quite often Im told as a Christian that someone would respect me a whole lot more if only I would shut up about Jesus and the bible. To me (and hopefully every other Christian out there), thats like standing back while someone says "Leave me alone! I consent to and desire to drink from this toilet in my own freedom!" Some freedom. Would a parent do that with their child? Do we even let our pets drink from the toilet? Eww no.

You might not like it but I know that the people who care about you are the ones that don't shut up about Jesus, the ones who offend you are the ones who care about you. The ones that shut up and keep quiet - they are the hypocrites. You might not think so but I think Jesus will. Another example is seeing someone walk in a desert and you just happen to have keys to an icy cold cooler full of fresh water. You'd be a big prat if you didn't share it. Thats just how we see it.

What are you thirsty for? What water are you drinking? Is it working? At the end of your life will you think to yourself, that (insert thing here) was so worth it. Im so glad I dedicated my time, wallet and learning it. 

Paul in his letter to the Phillippian Church (3:8) said - "Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ."

Jesus came off as extremely offensive when he referred to himself as living water (among other things) and they killed him for it. As a Christian, I am reconciling myself to the fact that no matter how nicely or respectfully I speak my faith I will offend people and they will want to hurt me for it. Thats fine. Let me just say, its worth it. When one witnesses a person switching from toilet water to pure water, just the look on their face is worth it.