There, that got your attention, didn't it? It's a phrase coined by a dear friend of mine, whose world is full of people who could fit those designations. She also once paraphrased the thinking of a fool who was making predictably foolish decisions, thusly: "Poop-a-doo on you [the person who was cautioning him about his folly]! I'm at the edge of this cliff, and I'm gonna jump off just because you tell me not to, and maybe it'll hurt, but not as much as heeding your advice would!"
My friend of the creative nicknames was using them to vent exasperation about the behavior of others over which she had no control. She continues to embrace the Biblical idea of a merry heart being good medicine (Proverbs 17:22). This lovely saint realized a long time ago that laughter is much better for her health than incessant tears (or worse, unremitting anger).
Despite my friend's good example, I'm righteously indignant today, and that pique feels a lot like a thick slab of wood blocking my vision (Matthew 7:3). Sitting in church this morning, I found myself stewing about another believer's choices. I had decided I just couldn't let this individual go unchastened, and so fired off a not-so-nice email before heading out to worship in spirit and in truth. Meanwhile, my own spirit was steeped in criticism, and my truth had been spoken harshly.
The thing that's bothering me is the same thing that ought to have bothered Young Goodman Brown in Hawthorne's story of the same name. The main character in this classic tale is confronted with the sin, hypocrisy and even apostasy of people he had trusted and worshiped with. Unable to bear their human frailty, he chose rather to separate himself from his his neighbors (and wife), hiding behind a cloak of judgment and disdain till his dying day. The Minister's Black Veil, by the same author, imparts a similar message.
If nothing else, it's tiring to pass judgment, even silently, on those around us. This one didn't acknowledge a gift. That one doesn't visit the sick. Another one took advantage. On and on and on and on ...
Our pastor recently shared the enlightening idea that what waits for us in heaven is so out of bounds that everything on earth should pale by comparison. When one knows, our fearless leader suggested, that one's service is for one's magnanimous KING, one need not worry about earthly compensation or fairness. The KING will see to all that later (Hebrews 6:10).
I've been privileged in my working career to serve under a number of managers for whom no task was beneath them. They would sweep floors, wipe tables, clean bathrooms, all with a smile on their faces. Behind the scenes, they were also responsible for all the headaches that were "above my pay grade." It was truly a joy to work for these individuals, because they appreciated and rewarded their employees, working alongside (as well as above) them, doing the same hard stuff they asked of others.
Come to think of it, I know of another boss who operates just that way. He wasn't satisfied to briefly check out the job site as an "Undercover Boss;" rather, He stepped out of His "office" and spent a lifetime working side by side with His underlings, while at the same time modeling how to do the job right.
Will I sit on high and pass judgment (which is above my pay grade), or leave that to Higher Management?