My pastor just started a new sermon series at church this past week called “Do We All Have to Agree?” and in his first message he addressed the issue of how a lot of times Christians are more well-known for all the stuff they are against rather than being known as a loving and welcoming kinda crowd. And he’s surely onto something there when you think how often Christians are described as hateful, closed-minded, and hypocritical as opposed to loving, kind, compassionate. It was a great sermon really (you can give it a listen here), and after talking through it with my friend Jenn, it surely gave me lots to think on.
In our highly opinionated society with our various social media platforms by which we often express those opinions, it’s easy for grace to get lost in the mix. Given opportunity to get on our technological soap boxes and throw hard words at the world under the guise of “speaking truth in love,” we invariably fail to draw people nearer to Jesus…if that’s really our intention in the first place. Sometimes I think we really just want others to know how right we are. I’m the first to admit guilt there.
And Jenn and I came to the conclusion that in all our well-worded Facebook statuses or clever Twitter posts, how likely are we really to change someone’s thoughts or opinions with a few witty sentences in our timeline? I mean, can you really draw someone to your “side” in 140 characters or less? If anything, it seems the internet’s false sense of anonymity brings out the worst in people and the resulting debates that will surely ensue via replies and shares and retweets often does nothing more than further polarize people. So rather than always having a comment for everything, how about just…don’t?
And I realized, wow…there’s a lot of freedom in not feeling compelled to express your thoughts and opinions about every stinking thing.
And something that sort of hit me like a brick in the midst of that realization is that God doesn’t need me to go out there and fight His battles. If I don’t make certain to “set straight” every person who posts a contrary opinion or declaration on Facebook, it doesn’t change what’s true and it doesn’t take God’s glory away. He is still good, He is still sovereign, and He is still God.
My job is to love God and love my neighbor as myself (Matthew 22:37-40). So while it may take me a bit of time to adjust to my newfound freedom from needing to always speak my mind, I’m finding comfort in having been reminded that the battle belongs to the Lord.
And for that, I am grateful.
…Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army.
For the battle is not yours, but God’s.
2 Chronicles 20:15