I’ve been thinking and praying for several days about how to share my thoughts on what I’ve been witnessing on Facebook. I love it when God sends the perfect message to help me focus my thoughts and get things started. I received this today, found in James3:9-10.
“With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praising and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.” NIV (New International Version)
Unfortunately, what I’m seeing the most on Facebook these days is more cursing than praising. Many people are joining in what I’ll call the “virtual riot” of the moment about abusive police officers, racist white people, protesting black people, our president, republicans, democrats, Muslims, Christians, etc. People are commenting on and sharing things based on anger and hatred that are only meant to humiliate, denigrate, demean, or condemn another person, race, or religion.
These posts have nothing to do with actual solutions. They only add fuel to the fire and encourage others to join in the virtual riot. That place where anyone can sit safely behind a little screen and never actually participate in a real discussion with those that they are so bravely cursing at. And when others join in, it justifies their feelings and comments and makes them feel so right!
I’m a very proud American citizen! I believe in our right to free speech and I served in our military for 20 years to protect it. I’m not saying that we don’t have the right to speak what’s on our minds. I’m asking us all to make the choice to really think about what we say before we say it! Is what we have to say constructive or destructive? Would God want us to post and share these things?
I know in my heart that we can all do better on this!
In The Journey Training we believe EVERY person is a child of God who has value beyond measure and deserves to be loved as God loves them.
As Christians, we are called to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. Jesus gives all Christians these words as part of the great commandment. He does not say “please do this”, or “please think about this”. He commands us to do this!
The easiest thing to do is to follow the crowd, join the anger and hatred, and go along with the rioting mob. The hardest thing to do is something different from the crowd – to choose to love someone, as a person created in the image of God – even if that person has done something that we think is wrong or hurtful.
Loving our neighbor doesn’t mean they get a free pass to do whatever they want. Loving our neighbor means that we are willing to help them see when they are not being who they were created to be and that there is another choice or choices they could make.
Loving them means we do this with honesty and grace, without humiliating them, condemning them, or crushing their spirit. It means we do the hard work to build them up to be the man or woman that God created them to be, not what the world has told them to be or told them that they are. Loving them means we do this with dignity and respect while we may disagree.
As we head into 2015, I challenge all of us to make the CHOICE to look at things from another PERSPECTIVE and do something DIFFERENT!
Stop doing the easy thing by participating in the virtual riots that are based in anger and hatred!
Make the harder choice. Have the courage to live your life from a foundation of LOVE. Look for ways to build people up to be the best they can be instead of tearing them down.
If you can’t imagine how to do this or you don’t think it’s possible, check out The Journey Training. Come join us in 2015!