I’m OK, You’re a Jerk

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. (Romans 12:18)

I don’t care what Jesus says; some things are just not possible—even for God.

Take jerks, for instance. They are jerks. They look like jerks, think like jerks, talk like jerks, act like jerks, and even smell like jerks. There’s a good reason for this: they’re jerks. Jerks. Jerks. Jerks. Now, I don’t know whether you can blame God for making them or they’re simply the result of original sin that didn’t get scrubbed up at the cross or if they are some kind of sub-human spawn that grows like mold on the windowsill of life. But jerks are everywhere and they shouldn’t be.

I find jerks in the grocery store. They’re the ones who block the aisle or scream at their kids or have a gazzilion coupons or try to pass off fifty items in the 15 item limit express lane. I find jerks in the parking lot who park their cars crooked or one nano-inch from your door or who leave a door ding in your door or a shopping cart against your car. I find jerks who drive like idiots because they’re texting or chatting on their cell phones as though there’s somebody in the universe who actually cares. There are jerks on television who make money for being jerks. There are jerks in Washington DC (which is the city of professional jerks). There are jerks who rule over other countries too who should be just blown up to put the rest of us out of our misery.

Jerks come in all shapes and sizes—except a lot of them are fat for some reason. There are the relational jerks who can’t seem to get it in their heads that they are so not the center of the universe. There are business jerks who screw you over for an extra buck. There are girl jerks and boy jerks. And though most jerks are official jerks only when they’re older, these days jerks are coming to maturity younger and younger. I personally have met a couple of near-professional jerks who hadn’t even reached their sixth birthday. I guess some families start the training early.

Religious jerks are the worst. Not only do they share all the qualities of general jerkiness, but they have a sense of moral superiority that tweaks their jerkiness to volume eleven. Religious jerks take advantage of the idea that you’re supposed to be nice to them for the sake of Jesus. They think that God likes them so you have to too. This is where they are dead wrong. First of all, God doesn’t like them any more than you do. He has to tolerate them (because he’s God) but that’s way different than liking them. And you can be sure when their contracts are up that God is going to shove them into hell as fast as politeness will allow. Second, the Apostle Paul basically gives you a loophole. He says you have to try to be nice, but if the jerk is a jerk then you’re off the hook and can save your niceness for nonjerks. So I suggest that you limit your trying to one go-round and then write the sucker off. This forgiving seven times seventy thing is for the birds. I say one strike and you’re out.

Look. I’ve got better things to do than deal with jerks. They’re doomed to eternal torment anyway so why waste the limited time you’ve got on them. If they want to make nice, fine. But it’s going to be pretty much up to them since I’m not going to bark up the wrong tree. I’m all for Jesus changing them into nonjerks, but that seems to be a rare thing. Most jerks stay jerks and that’s that, as Jesus would know just about better than anybody.

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