Spend more than 2 seconds on social media or any sort of news outlet and its a guarantee that something about the upcoming election will come across your eyes. I’m not one who has really followed very closely (at all) the details of it, mostly because I get entirely overwhelmed by the seemingly hopeless plight and exorbitant amount of information at our fingertips these days thanks to the world we live in. And here I go… adding yet another voice to the deafening roar. Except, this really has nothing to do with politics and policies and stances and voting. Because, as a million people have already made such good points, my individual opinion really holds zero weight in changing someone else’s mind.
But there is something that is grieving my soul. And so I’m going to process it out on here and maybe it will cause a few of us to at least do a little examination of ourselves and invite the Lord to speak to us, however He would, wherever we are at. This comes from a place of uncomfortable conviction. God’s been mercifully opening my eyes to my own hypocrisy and pharisaical ways. Y’all can take it for what its worth. I won’t assume that anyone reading this has the exact same struggle as me but I do know that we all have similar heart ugliness and if you are reading this, you are alive on this earth and that means you are still in process too and therefore not perfect either. So just try to not let your panties get too bunched up over my personal thoughts if you disagree.
What is it that when we deem someone’s brand of sin or position or more frankly, level of evil-ness as such that is so much more extreme than our own, we exercise the opportunity to declare them too far gone, out of the reach of God’s grace, and simply an open target for hurling whatever insults or name-calling that we decide is warranted?
I’m alarmed. I remember my parents warning me of the dangers of saying things over instant messaging, email, or text that I wouldn’t be comfortable or ever dare say in person. I think this warning stands for the way we discuss all things on social media. We wear a fake-brave face taking resolute stances “for what we believe in” and we give not a care to who it bowls over in the process. Its so different than having real-life, face-to-face conversations with real-life, flesh and blood people. but THATS who reads our words! Real-life, real-feeling, flesh and blood HUMAN BEINGS.
I know. The arguments can be that so-and-so signed up for this kind of scrunity and they opened themselves up to all of it when they stepped out into the lime-light. Can we maybe make one thing NOT about them for a second though? What about the everyday people reading our rash words and absorbing every “freedom of speech” exercised right that we take? Friends. We are wounding real people. There are stories and heartaches and choices and history that we don’t know, that we haven’t walked and that we can’t possibly understand. I can feel it now, the defenses rising and those panties getting all twisted into circulation stopping knots. BUT WHAT ABOUT THE TRUTH?!?!? what about whats right and what God says and what we believe?!
This is what God is showing me. He never changes. His truth is absolute and steady and everlasting and I praise Him for who He is. But what we must learn, what we must consider if we actually want to have any winning influence on people, if we actually want to treat people the way Jesus would, is that the way we communicate His truth is crucial. And I think that the heart of Jesus would be found in boldly proclaiming His truth with tears on our cheeks, dirtied and messy with blood from the wounds of those made in the image of God, kneeling in the trenches with them. Not slinging words and ideas and judgements around with our nose in the air up high where we just keep hoping to not get touched by the complicated, dysfunctional world around us. It breaks my heart to see the Church silenced BY ITS OWN doing. Of course, the Lord will not be mocked and we are not too far gone for Him to change us. But how many opportunities will we miss?
I think most people could pretty well deduce on their own where I stand on most issues. And I have yet to be shocked by the opinions or stances of people that I actually know in real life. What I’m not saying in this thing is that I think people shouldn’t share thoughts or communicate their heart on these issues. OBVI, I kinda am a cheerleader for such sharing. I guess my point is just that we ought to be careful with our words. I’ve read people who do this so marvelously! really, it encourages my heart when I see people being kind and gracious and firm in their convictions. It gives me a great example of how to do it when its so confusing to me. But more often, I’ve seen it done the other way and it is such a tragedy to me. God, please humble us!
There is danger in holding so tightly to our opinions and positions that we lose sight of where the actual battle is. It is possible to acknowledge and hear other people’s differing views and still believe something to be the right thing. Because as much as we would love every thing to be cut and dry and vastly black and white, it simply isn’t. My acceptance of the fact that circumstances can feel really grey doesn’t mean that I don’t believe in absolutes. Because I absolutely do. It just means that I get that sometimes what seems like an easy decision on one side, feels anything but from another. Hearing people out and acknowledging them doesn’t mean you agree with a compromising choice of theirs, it just helps to see them as people and not vile, murderous monsters. But in a world of “get the last word in” and communication getting grossly misunderstood over words typed instead of spoken, its nearly impossible to actually feel heard.
So here I am feeling all sorts of a hypocrite in putting this out there “in typed words” when my heart longs to exchange real spoken words over coffee, next to you on a couch where I can look you in the eyes and say “life can just be so hard, huh?”…. will you give me grace and reach out if you feel misunderstood by me? Seems a little risky to just shoot my cell number out to the entire internet(although you could probably find it anyway if you tried lol) so email me for it if you wish. I would genuinely love to talk using real spoken words with you.
Lastly, I’m just ever more grateful that I follow a sovereign, intimate God who knows me by name and governs the entire universe with loving hands. I don’t have to believe my feelings when the King of kings and Lord of lords has proven throughout eternity how faithful and able and trustworthy He is. May we the Church live like we believe that.