Proclaimers . . .
We are humans-made-from-humus . . . our origins of dust.
Some days, being online is not sweet. Not that I expect it to be all sweet . . . that is unrealistic. But the balance seems to be tipping towards stinky.
I have learned some lessons about life online the hard way. If you ask those who received some of my forwarded emails back in 2007, when I sought to sway their opinions . . . they may have thought them stinky. So, I’m more cautious of taking action as rapidly as I once did.
Please allow me to share a bit of hard-won wisdom with you . . . and to pray,
Dear Jesus, please help us slow down this fast-moving train-of-thoughts, brain-numbing, “my-words-need-to-be-out-there” blaring-megaphone of human-opinion.
To boycott or not to boycott – it has been the blaring declaration-of-the-week on my Facebook feed. Not only are there strong opinions that come across, but with them, an insinuation of “shame-on-others” who do not agree with me. [that is the stinky part]
It looks a lot like human pride on display.
Where is humility?
Pride, we can recognize it because it’s never far from each one of us. We know it; we know the way it starts it’s sentences. We are familiar with the method it uses to proclaim its pomp – it looks like this:
I WILL shop at Target.
I WILL NOT be shopping at Target.
You can hear the tone.
Pride starts the proclamation of it’s contempt like this,
They are fundamentalists.
They are liberals.
They are legalists.
They are judgemental.
They are bigots.
I > They = superiority
And does anyone even know what a Bigot is??? I looked it up: A person who is intolerant of others holding differing opinions.
Dear person who called another person a bigot . . . please see definition of bigot.
“If you cannot make yourself what you wish to be, how can you bend others to your will? We want them to be perfect, yet we do not correct our own faults. We wish them to be severely corrected, yet we will not correct ourselves. Their great liberty displeases us, yet we would not be denied what we ask. . . . hence it is clear how seldom we think of others as we do of ourselves.” Thomas A Kempis
Shame and blame and even fame. They are Satan’s tools.
If we are Christians, we no longer look at people from a worldly point of view.
2 Corinthians 5:16 NLT
Pride sees with earthly eyes and condemns it’s antagonist.
Humility sees with redemption’s eyes and loves it’s antagonist.
Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person. Colossians 4:5-6
There is a way to say what is true without slinging mud or stones at someone who doesn’t think like us.
There is a proper and wise context in which we should work out our angst and our fear and our “how-to’s” in this day of rapid change, and it is likely not the internet.
I wonder if we realize that we actually add fuel to the fire of hostility that seems to be raging against Christians all around us when we are not cautions with our words.
Where we say them.
How we say them.
Who we say them to.
And most importantly how we are using our words to build and to bless our brothers and sisters in the faith.
Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. Galatians 6:10 [emphasis mine]
You may have read this online: “We need your words! We need you to add your voice to the conversation” regarding any number of the debatable issues of our day. And sometimes things get worn-out and over-used and even abused.
Conversations are best in person. Where we can see faces. And smiles.
Sometimes, it’s better to let our words be few. Ecclesiastes 5:1-3NIV
The following passage is about eating and drinking and not offending or causing anxiety in your brother or sister who’s faith doesn’t allow it. I think the same principle might apply to being considerate of others in any context.
It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother or sister to fall.
So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who does not condemn himself by what he approves. But whoever has doubts is condemned if they eat, because their eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin. Romans 14:21-23
Sometimes it’s better to keep our convictions between us and God if it is going to be a point of dissension in the Body of Christ. Especially publicly.
Dear Lord, please help us be wise. Guard our hearts and our lips . . . Generations will reap what I sow. That is a sobering reality. May it help me pause long before shouting from the rooftops what I will do. May I instead magnify your goodness by trusting you and your Word. And bless the land that you planted me on by praying and obeying You.
God may tell you to send out an email . . .or write a post about a boycott or why-not-to-boycott. You have complete liberty, and you should obey Him if you feel conviction – if you know it is God calling you to do so.
But if your blood pressure is a bit too high, don’t publish until you have a few people read it first, to discern the tone and get a perspective on if it, to cross-check it and see if it would be beneficial to the hearers and to the greater good of the people who will be hear you.
In the abundance of counselors is wisdom. Proverbs 15:22
Dear Jesus, help us to seek wisdom and the greater good of others. Help us to be humble and help us to discern the best way that leads to peace and mutual edification. Help us not to be bullied by the words of people, but to rest in the truth that you have given us in Your Word~Amen