How to write an amazing Christian passive aggressive note.

Someone sent me a picture of a sign they saw in a church.

It is perhaps the greatest Christian passive aggressive note I have ever seen in my life. Since we Christians are so into “teachable moments” I thought I might be able to redeem this but turning it into a teaching tool. Let’s do life together. We’re in a season. We should sit in circles not rows!

Sorry, I get a little carried away when I start down the path of the ole Christian conversation.

Here is how to write an amazing Christian passive aggressive note.

Sign

1. CAPS. YOU GOTTA GO WITH CAPS. You know who loves lower case? The devil. How do I know? Because hell is lower than heaven.
2. Start off by calling people “servants.” Come right out of the gate with a strong reminder that this note is not addressed to church members, it’s addressed to “servants.” How are you going to argue with whatever is in the note after that title? What you’re not a servant? Oh, you’re too good to be a servant?
3. If at all possible, get Jesus in the first sentence.
4. Put him in twice in the first sentence if you can and looking at this note, they could.
5. Three times if you want to slap the reader just they think it’s over. I love the completely unexpected … for walking with Jesus. Always come back to Jesus. We’re not thanking you for cleaning up like the disciples did when they had to pick up all those fish and loaves. We’re thanking you for walking with Jesus.
6. Do not worry at all about spacing or fonts or punctuation.
7. Throw a Bible verse in at the end. The one they used here is actually a curious choice because it’s about complaining. One could easily argue that the passive aggressive note is a form of complaining. That’s actually black belt note writing right there. They used a verse against the reader of the note before the reader could use it against the writer of the note. Brilliant. Bonus points for using a verse that makes it impossible for servants to complain. “See right there in the Bible? Says you can’t complain! Boom! Shot blocked your complaint with a Bible verse!”

A lot of people would instead suggest that you actually be in community with other people. That you write short, clear notes that don’t shame people but instead encourage everyone to pitch in. But that approach can take forever. It’s a lot faster and easier to skip that whole “be in messy relationships with people who are imperfect just like you” thing and instead write a passive aggressive note.

I appreciate you reading this blog post. Thanks … for walking with Jesus.

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Comments

  1. says

    I recently got into a mild FB theological debate (warning: I do NOT recommend this!) and the person with which I was debating ended responded to every rebuttal with some version of, “This is Bible, folks, whether we like it or not. So glad God (not man) will be the final judge.”

    Hard to argue with that. I guess well thought-out Biblical analyses don’t matter much. Folks.

    • says

      I had a mild Facebook debate last month, we are both Christians. I don’t know him but we have a mutual friend. He kept saying go back to the Bible (which I was, while he sited biblical concepts). After non-progressing back-and-forth comments and a dash of passive aggressiveness, I thanked him for the discussion and exited. I’m not opposed to productive discussions; I am opposed to the world observing (reading) non-productive, passive aggressive discussions which often seals the deal about some Christian stereotypes.

    • Michelle says

      It’s like saying “Well, I’m just going to have to go with God on this one”. I believe Jon wrote a post on that quite some time ago.

  2. says

    I think the verse doesn’t count because it’s from The Living Bible, which is only one step ahead of The Message in the rankings of Bible translations. If you really want your verse to strike fear into the hearts of the audience, you need to use something more impressive, like The Authorized Version.

  3. says

    I just spit my coffee when I got to the final “walking with Jesus” grenade. Thank you for sharing. Now, as a good Christian, I can think of 6 OTHER people who NEED to hear this message. *share*

  4. says

    I don’t know… As a mom to 11 and 8 year old boys tossing Jesus and a hefty helping of guilt AND a verse about complaining (before they can complain no less!) seems pretty freaking brilliant to me. In fact, I may copy this wise passive aggressive letter writer’s lead and hang one up in the bathroom… And their rooms… And the family room… And the car… Haha!
    Vicky
    http://www.thepursuitofnormal.blogspot.com

      • Deborah (Debbie) says

        Oh my…so wish I’d thought of that a number of years ago….AWESOME…except, I think I remember reading somewhere in the best selling book that being a servant of Jesus means being a servant of others so…BUT PLEASE correct me if I’m wrong in that, cause I kind of like the idea of being wrong in this instance…

  5. Jim says

    I love that this notes says that servants clean up their mess, but also the messes of others! Is the note writer a servant of Christ? Shouldn’t he or she have just cleaned up other people’s messes?

    The bible verse about complaining in a note that is, in effect, complaining about other people’s lack of clean-up is amazing irony. Love it.

    • kim says

      Thank you for posting that. .I lol’d at the original post and now even harder reading this….hilarious and spot on!

  6. Nick Battaglia says

    This is a “zipper” note — serviceable for getting servants to serve in almost any way you can think of. If you’re going to go to the trouble to write the perfect note, it would be a shame to use it just once.

    The section in the red box can simply be “zipped” out and another task “zipped in” later. Probably a MS Word template on the parish secretary’s computer.

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/5889214/Sign.jpg

  7. says

    I passed by an empty soda can on my walk with my dog this morning. I really did feel guilty, and know I see it is with good reason.

    Maybe , for once in my life, I should try walking with the dog AND with Jesus. My town would be cleaner.

  8. says

    This note is not black belt. This note is ninja. Deadly ninja. Here’s why:

    Jon and everyone else has missed perhaps the most important (and ninja-ly) aspect of this letter. What is it? Hint: It’s around the edges.

    THE BORDER! This, my friends, is certificate paper. This is an official Jesus document. This is the modern day version of ten commandments on stone.

    And it blew by all of you!

    Why? Because you are conditioned to know that if it’s on certificate paper it’s all of the truth.

    Let’s review this masterpiece of stealth and shame…

    Three JPN (Jesus per note) – Check
    All Caps – Check
    Passive Aggressive Tone – Check
    Bible Verse that is vaguely irrelevant – Check
    Certificate Border – Check. AND MATE.

      • says

        Maybe you can add the fact it is also deeply historical because it is displayed under glass, like an artifact in the Smithsonian:). I forgot the ‘s’ on your – just to correct it myself.

  9. Kelley says

    Servants of Jesus Christ do NOT USE TAPE ON GLASS!!! Oh the residue. Oh the permanent reminder of improper tape use.

  10. says

    One more note. This is totally authentic because it was printed on certificate paper. You can’t get more official than that outside of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

  11. says

    Obviously, a redeemed professional note writer from the DMV wrote this note. Redeemed because of the curiously cautious use of only one exclamation point.

    Note how “servants” quickly funneled to “servants of Jesus.” Much like Peter’s “in the name of Jesus Christ” blew up into “whom you crucified” in Acts 4. That’s doctoral-level note writing, right there.

  12. Erin says

    I needed this lesson at VBS this year. We were in charge of decorating our own rooms. I went in and started and left all my own store bought supplies in a pile for later. The sign on them said, “3rd grade girls – please do not touch.” When I returned a few days later my consumable supplies were hanging in another room and my other supplies were no where to be found. Next year my sign will read – “Just as Moses commanded the Isrealites- Thou shall not covet and thou shall not steal. God sees all.” Ezekiel 17:18

  13. Faith says

    I feel like you could pretty easily start a companion website or spinoff brand featuring only passive-aggressive notes found in church kitchens.

  14. Roxanne says

    As someone who works almost exclusively in Word and Publisher for my career…. I cringed at the overall look of that note. Once I managed to get past the formatting, it looks like something I’ve seen put up way too often in various locations.

  15. says

    I hate to burst everyone’s bubble, but this letter is clearly a HOAX (I even checked snopes.com). How did I know right away? Easy – no authentic certificate-writing passive-aggressive servant-motivating verse-quoter (CWPASMVQ) would have committed comma abuse after giving thanks. I mean, THANK YOU,…????? It’s a dead giveaway. This is probably one of the famous Love Canal Scrolls.

  16. says

    The Matthew 18 Principle for the passive aggressive Christian.

    If your brother or sister sins, write them an anonymous passive aggressive sign to post somewhere so they and others can see it. When they fail to change their ways talk to others about their thoughts on the sign and the person it is addressed to.

  17. scott says

    Wow, you’ve so graciously pointed out the the guy who wrote that poster is dumber than you! Any chance that was just someone (while obviously dumber than you) trying to encourage his fellow Christians to help others? You’re not passive aggressive, just aggressive.

  18. hannah says

    1. Not feeling compelled to walk with Jesus, more like a need for virtual boxing gloves, lol. How’s that for a short,.messy clear note?

    2. .Awesome blog. I’m such a sucker for the appreciation from those I find admirable. :)

  19. gram-grammity-gram says

    lower case is of the devil
    and yet they use lower case for the WORD OF GOD
    if that is that’s not a red flag
    i don’t know what is

  20. says

    This is hilarious, it shows that this place doesn’t have patience for people who make a mess. Yet seems to be Jesus calls us to have patience for people>
    but at the end of the day it undermines people. You don’t change the hearts of men by undermining them,

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  1. […] How to write an amazing Christian passive aggressive note. – “Someone sent me a picture of a sign they saw in a church.  It is perhaps the greatest Christian passive aggressive note I have ever seen in my life. Since we Christians are so into “teachable moments” I thought I might be able to redeem this but turning it into a teaching tool. Let’s do life together. We’re in a season. We should sit in circles not rows!” […]

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