Preaching to myself here, let me start with that.
I recently read an article that highlighted some disparities in the church’s response to conspiracy theories and government mandates that strip Americans of certain freedoms. I opened it with the mindset that some of these may have some merit, and the world in and of itself is pretty sketchy right now.
The perspective taken was on our character as Christians in all of this. Grandma (among many others), a faithful member of the church who selflessly serves in the nursery and is the first to leave casseroles on porches of the sick, takes to Facebook to annihilate the posts of others with comments filled with her impassioned words.
Our country is not the basis of our walk with Christ. Our political party is not the basis of our walk with Christ. The infallible word of God is the foundation of our walk with Christ. The gift of the cross is our basis, our unshakable foundation, but we’re allowing it to be shaken by Facebook posts. We're abandoning our mission to be a light in a dark world over political warfare.
Do we truly believe God? Or are we too consumed with the trouble of this world? The world screams while God whispers. Can we hear Him?
There’s a gift in in Colossians 4.
Colossians 4:5-6 “Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.”
We are to be soldiers for Christ, yes, but those marching orders come from Bible study, prayer, and discernment, not our flesh consumed with fear and anger that tempts us to shoot from the hip. The mode in which we operate is the root of our actions and our words, and just like John 15, that root needs to be in Christ, not emotions over the extreme circumstances of our world.
The circumstances of our world must not become a consuming distraction from our persistent seeking of the Lord. When we take the bait, the overwhelming videos on Facebook or being glued to the news, we take our eyes off of Jesus and fall violently into our own fear - and that can have disastrous results.
I can’t help but think about Peter in the garden prior to Jesus’ crucifixion. Peter cut the ear off the soldier that was coming for Jesus. What did Jesus do? He repaired the damage Peter caused on that soldier. You see, Jesus doesn’t need us to fight His battles because we want to be the hero, and oftentimes when we react and throw an arrow (even with our words), we do the opposite of what the Lord calls us to do – to “let our speech be gracious, seasoned with salt.”
When we stick out in the news feeds of social media for being a seasoned and calm light, rooted in the faith that God has this under control, we can be a source of hope rather than part of the problem. No one, and I mean no one, responds to angry words well. In my 40 years I’ve not seen an angry rant change the heart of anyone, but I have seen amazing grace revolutionize hearts and minds.
Let’s make the best use of this time, and go to war with weapons of grace, mercy, understanding and compassion and leave the rest to Jesus. We can only do that when we lay our weapons down and open His word to hear His still calm voice, not the screams of the world.