Whatever Happened to...
Here it is. This is the one. After two years of running this blog, it seems I finally have a topic that might ruffle some feathers.
You see, there’s this phenomenon that is growing increasingly common, probably because of the distance social media has put between people. Ironic, I know. Social media likes to sell us the narrative that we’re bringing people closer together (and in many ways it does), but often, the perceived closeness is a myth. Our subconscious recognizes this. We’ll say things to someone on Facebook or over a text that we’d never say in real life, face to face. So while communication is easier and faster, it seems like it’s more difficult than ever to just be decent.
And that’s the heart of what troubles me.
The political climate in 2019 America is, well, special. Hostile might be a good word for it. I have great friends all along the political spectrum. I have Christian conservative friends, and I have Christian liberal friends. We all do. And we often get along alright. In person. But something equal parts fascinating and disheartening happens on social media.
Christians forget to act like Christians.
Now that’s a big, bold, hammer-drop kind of statement. It’s also a generalization that may be unfair to some—I do see plenty of Christians who maintain decorum in these kinds of discussions, and many more who choose to stay silent. For myself, I would rather stay out of it than risk breaking fellowship.
To be clear, some issues warrant weighing in on: the travesty that is happening to the sanctity of life in this country is evil, pure and simple.
But there are other issues that don’t have as simple and cut-and-dry morality. And these are often the ones defended and debated with such vehemence that I occasionally have to double check the names of the posters to make sure I read it right.
I see Christians absolutely thrashing non-Christians who may disagree on one political point or another as if they aren’t even human.
What happened to love?
We get so excited about random political issues and will fight for those views to the bitter end, sometimes, it seems, at the expense of our faith. Is that statement unfair? You tell me.
“Little children, let us not love in word or talk, but in deed and in truth.” - 1 John 3:18
Read that verse again. Now read it a third time, just for good measure.
Dear Christian, remember our purpose in this place. Is it to debate socio-economics or immigration policies? Is it to insult people who have a different opinion about minimum wage?
We are here to advance the Gospel. We are here to point people to Jesus.
Is it possible to do both? Maybe. But most of all, we love in deed, not in talk. (Though we often don’t even do so in talk). I’ve seen people with religious profile pictures say really terrible things to people who disagree with them.
Sure, it’s fun to be witty and scathing. It feels incredible to “win” debates. It’s downright euphoric when people start liking your witty retort.
How does it point someone to Jesus when we try and make them feel stupid? How does bickering about futile things reflect the grace and mercy of Christ? You’re certainly not going to change their political opinion. But you know what you will change in a heartbeat? Their opinions of your faith.
1 John 4:7-8 tells us that God is love, thus, if God abides in us, we will pour love out around us.
If you are filled with the presence of God, then you’re filled with His love.
Go out there and act like it.