According to Google, the word “badass” is defined as “a tough, uncompromising, or intimidating person” and “a formidably impressive person.”
I have avoided using the word as it hints at some vulgarity. When you are a leader in the community and church, you look to separate yourself from bad words as to keep a clean image in the eyes of others.
And yet, that’s not exactly what Jesus did…
From experience I can tell you that being a good girl goes only so far. While being a good girl most of the time is fine, only being a good girl results in people walking all over you and God’s call going mostly unanswered.
Being a good girl keeps a person in two dimension mode, forgetting that adventures are beyond her comfort zone, and that God is sometimes drawing us to those new places.
As time goes on in life and we experience how the world really works. Life and its brokenness begin to bang up our good girl souls. The good girl begins to be replaced with something a bit more edgy. Unfortunately, this loss of innocence happens with all of us. What we are called to realize is that our scars and screams actually work to God’s and our benefit. You know when the remnants of the good girl need to shine and when the good girl needs to have a seat while the faithful badass takes her place.
The faithful badass is powered by the Holy Spirit. Just like the lyrics to Pink’s song “Raise Your Glass” we must “raise our glass when we are wrong in all the right ways.” We stand with the faithful badasses in every age as they walked with God. We see the faithful badass in the Bible when Vashti says no to Ahasuerus, when Esther stands up for the Jewish people, and when Ruth decides to stay with her mother-in-law in her deepest grief. We see this faithful badassery when Hagar does everything she can to survive with her son Ishmael, when Tamar fools Judah into giving her offspring, when the daughters of Zelophehad fight for their inheritance, and when Jephthah’s daughter negotiates time to fully live before her slaughter. And we see many faithful badasses in the women who have lived since the life of Jesus – from Thecla who refused to get married and, instead, evangelized the good news to Joan of Arc who managed to lead in ways young women were not allowed to lead during her time.
Faithful badassery comes from our savior Jesus the Christ when he healed on the Sabbath, ate with the undesirables and turned the tables over when people were unjustly marketing goods in the Temple.
This faithful badassery has been woven throughout all spaces and times. When I see caregivers spending each pellet of energy ensuring their loved ones are well, I see this faithful badassery. When I see people of color or women marching because they do not feel that others believe their lives or bodies matter, I see faithful badassery. When I see men and women speaking out against fraud or sexual assault, risking their own reputation in the use of their voices, I see faithful badassery.
All faithful badassery comes directly from the Holy Spirit. Without this Spirit of God, we could not exit our comfort zones, risk the death of our bodies or souls, or radically care for one another.
As a leader in the Christian faith, I believe we should claim faithful badassery as part of who we are because it absolutely was a part of who Jesus was and who the Christ is that resides with us today. It was a part of the lives of God’s children throughout history and it will be a part of the faithful until the end of time.
So when we place our feet on the ground each morning, will we ask ourselves “How will I be a faithful badass today?”