For some time, I have found myself logging out as quickly as I logged in to social media sites, as very quickly I would become nauseous at the un-Christ like postings from Christian contacts.
Now I personally am not one to shy away from giving my opinion, or sharing something of value, in person or online. However the recent bombardment of unrestrained, slanderous, prideful, hateful and condemning posts and remarks has turned my stomach and has not fed me in any beneficial way so I needed to log out. I have disengaged with sadness in my heart, due to what many are promoting Christianity to be...a life that is anything but peaceful and Christ-like.
I do want to acknowledge that I have not always acted online or in person in a way which brings honour to Jesus, but this is my aim. It seems all too easy today for people to post a meme which says something like, “just because I'm a Christian doesn't mean I'm perfect”, seeming to somehow give license to ungodly behaviour online – when in fact scripture tells us to be perfect as He is (Matthew 5:48). It also says we are to be holy as He is (1 Peter 1:16).
While many Christians understand we are Christ's hands and feet, they seem to forget that we are accountable for our words (Matthew 12:36-37) because whoever claims to have Jesus living inside them must live as He did (1 John 2:6).
Some argue they have a right to protest, and I agree, yes we do...but we must not let our anger lead us to sin (Ephesians 4:26) and Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers” Matthew 5:9. Some say in defense that Jesus turned over the tables in the temple court and used a whip to drive out the animals...but He said they had turned His Father's house into a marketplace rather than a house of prayer...So let me ask are our bodies (the new temple) a house of prayer and peace?
Colossians 4:6 says, “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” We are called to respond to others gracefully, not start fights. Jesus also tells us to not worry about what we will say in defense of our faith for he will provide the words that will simply confound others (Luke 21:15)...but whose words are we speaking? Scripture says no unwholesome words should come out of our mouths, rather ones which edify others (Ephesians 4:29).
It seems so many do not know scripture for themselves...
In a day-and-age when we have scripture at our fingertips in so many formats, many seem to be drawn to sit at the feet of anyone else other than Jesus. Many seem drawn to teachers to 'explain the Word' rather than being fed from the source Himself. They therefore lack the ability to discern and weigh the words of others against scripture. Many say, “I wish I knew more scripture!” or even, “How do you know that?” as if there is some secret to knowing God's Word. The truth is God promises to write His Word upon our hearts (Jeremiah 31:33; Hebrews 8:10; 10:16), all we need do is come to Him prayerfully in humility and spend time with Him reading the Bible...He does the rest as He desires for us to be faithful disciples.
The fear of The Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Proverbs 1:7; 9:10), so let us not forget Jesus said we will need to give an account for every idle word spoken (Matthew 12:36). Have I ever spoken idle words, or words I regret? Yes. But it's my heart that matters. We may feel the need to repent but this is not condemnation, forgiveness is always available, we just need to keep examining our heart. Who is Lord over us? Is it our country?
As Christians we know the end-of-the-story and The United States of America or Australia are not the star of the story! May we never forget that every thing here will pass away...heaven and earth will pass away...every word will cease except that of The Word of God! Are we speaking Words of eternal value to others or do we just sound like the rest of the world?
Many of my blog posts do not contain so much scripture like this one, usually it underlines them...but my head and heart are hurting at the lack of self-application and so I know no other way to write this appeal. If you feel you have been overtaken by online interaction, I urge you to put your energy into a ministry that is grounded in real-life. You may think, but I am unable due to my current circumstances...but I challenge you to think about the amount of hours you're putting into being online and of how your hands could be put to better use...instead of typing from your armchair, perhaps you could knit squares for a charity making blankets for the needy? That's just one idea...How can you show love today?