Monday, March 19, 2012

Disclaimers: Strange and Unnecessary

Disclaimers.  There are some very strange ones out there. 

There's the deodorant that says: For external use only.  Written on the box an iron comes in: Do not iron while wearing clothes. Warning on sleeping pills: May cause drowsiness.

Sometimes I wish my dvd player included a "cuss-counter" the way a car has an odometer.  This way I could be accurate in my disclaimer clauses.  You've heard this kind of disclaimer clause before:
"The movie was really good -  oh, but you should know there about a dozen cuss words and one bad scene in it."

Or there are the disclaimer clauses that's serve as a preemptive strike against possible judgment:  
"I don't usually watch this show, but last night 30 Rock was on and..."
"For our date night we went to Mission Impossible 4, not that we support Tom Cruise but..."
"When I was waiting at the dentist the other day, I happened to read an article in People magazine..."

There are probably only two reasons we use disclaimer clauses.  One, to warn.  And two, to ward off any "judgments" against us.  I think by stating disclaimers, it's a bit like stating the obvious, kind of like Caution: Coffee May Be HOT!  I think we usually spout disclaimers because we fear the judgement of those who are listening.  What would it look like if we worried less about everyone else and just lived in light of God's leading in our lives as individuals?  What if people knew they'd receive grace from us no matter how many episodes of The Bachelorette they watched that month?  And what would happen if we decided to be honest in our personal convictions and turn off garbage if we truly feel that bad about watching it?  

Disclaimers are not necessary if we are being genuine.  Let's be the real deal so we don't have to include a label of unnecessary explanation when we chat.  Just as important, let's also be gracious so that we don't have to try to ward off each other's judgment. Besides, disclaimers just make us all sound as ridiculous as the Planters Peanuts jar that reads: Caution: May Contain Peanuts  Haha!  We'd hope so!

Disclaimer:  This blog is generally written late at night with some tongue in cheek and should be read as such.  May cause some to fall asleep, others to laugh and others to roll eyes.  Please do not contact author if words do not inspire and humor you.  Instead, return to your previous screen and pretend you never saw this page.   

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