Tuesday, May 29, 2018

like a rock

words hurled in anger or hate have the ability to create the largest boulder...insurmountable

A rock. Picture the biggest mountain or the smallest pebble. Rocks are known as being mighty and strong, yet can also crumble under pressure given time and circumstance. Jesus referred to Simon as "Peter," which means "Rock." "And upon this Rock I shall build my Church." 

Then there are stones. Stones can hurt you. A stone cast in judgment can kill you- such as the woman caught in adultery in the Bible. Or Stephen, the first martyr of the church. Yet how many of us cast stones every single day--and many of us aren't even aware that we do?

Just today, the ABC show, "Roseanne" was cancelled because she threw a mighty large stone at someone  through social media. It was hurtful. It was racist. It was wrong. We are all adults, not five years old. That means we should know better, but how many of us stop and think, stop and ask ourselves, "is this kind? Will it hurt someone's feelings?" More important, what we need to ask ourselves is this: "in what light will others see ME when I say this?"

It doesn't really matter how "popular" you are, to inflict hurt on another is wrong. To cast stones is wrong. To pass judgment is wrong. This is not to say that if the actions of another are truly wrong, that we can sit back and watch what happens, far from it. Even Jesus, when He noticed how the Temple in Jerusalem was being used as something more of a gambling den than a place of worship, called out those who were misusing it. The difference between that and what we are witnessing daily in the news and social medias is that Jesus called out the actions of those who were involved, not commenting on their character. Big difference.

Today I was pointing out something on the computer and my sweet husband made a quick and hurtful comment. Basically I had got in his way of something he was already viewing. But what he said hurt and I pointed it out (nicely--because two wrongs wouldn't make it right if I did it any other way.) He immediately apologized. It was over and done. Love means that when we feel hurt, we go to the one who hurt us and make things right. Not by slinging more angry words, but by showing love and hopefully, compassion and kindness will take the place of pain and hurt.
Today more so than ever, we need to check our 'filters'. Think before you speak. Think even before you think a thought that is spiteful, hurtful or mean-spirited. Thoughts do become things. The more you think horrible thoughts the more the intent will then be to utter those words that, once uttered, are real hard to take back. The tongue, such a small muscle, but it has so much power. Let's all learn to use it in positive ways!

Sunday, May 20, 2018

how do you respond on social media?

‘For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.’ (Luke 19:10)

I am becoming increasingly saddened at how society is reverting back to "caveman" like tolerance. It seems as if hate-filled words and actions are so dominate today. The comments made in social media are less thought out and more "shoot from the hip"--no filter. People hide behind a persona and then, let 'er rip. This attitude does nothing to foster love at all. The memes we see online, the "fae news" made to incite others, how can we foster a sense of love amidst all of the hoopla?

A recent poll has suggested that religion is falling out of favor with people. I wonder why. Going back to the time of Jesus' ministry, the Pharisees were much like modern religious leaders today- haughty, proud, always pointing out "what Scripture says," but unwilling to bend and realize that what was lacking in their thought processes was Love. Same with today. It seems as if "do as I say, but not as I do" has taken over much of what is called "religion." Gone is the spirituality and common sense that should dictate how we live out our lives.

When Jesus ministered to others, it was with stories they could relate to. It was with examples they could identify with. He showed them time after time that
we cannot sit in judgment of others but rather, forgive others with an attitude of Love. Stone that adulterous woman? "I think not," was His attitude. Forgive and set free. How many of us react in this way today? Instead, there are many who condemn without knowing all the facts. They see things and people as being either black or white instead of in shades of grey. It doesn't matter what the point was, we tend to listen with our ear on what OUR next response will be without having open dialogue of others' feelings. It is always easier to cast that stone, that firm thought of wanting to be right. The problem with that is.....we are so busy being "right" that we tune out the message. For all we know, we may be wrong but hard-pressed to admit it, so we yell even louder, just to be heard. The division widens until we have created a chasm so deep, no one can overcome it.

The same way He is looking at you and me and everyone else in the world, full of love and compassion, longing to bring us home, in the arms of our loving Father in heaven. People so often run away from the One who loves them more than they could ever dare to imagine and who can help them in all their troubles.

Case in point: I speak out a lot about domestic abuse. A chance to be heard came up online and I presented a case worth listening to. Suddenly a cacophony of other voices chimed in and soon, the thread of my point became lost in the opinions of others, which soon turned into hateful words aimed at religion, at race, and of society in general. I felt a sense of loss because as I became more disgusted with how the original post was heading, I am sure that others who needed to hear the original message also became so disillusioned that they tuned out the topic entirely.

Nothing was solved.

Others literally "bullied" the topic with their version of "I'm right and you're NOT!" thus proving the reasons why domestic abuse is so rampant to begin with.

 It broke my heart.

‘So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.’ (Isaiah 41:10)

Today, turn OFF those words of despair and hate. Speak words that reflect positivity instead. Instead of listening to all day news narratives, turn off the noise and reflect on the joyful reasons that you can inspire others. Instead of making comments that may hurt others, use compassion to inspire others with words and deeds. Develop a personal filter that allows you to stop and think, "is this hurtful to another if I were to say it or write it?" Yes? Then don't. Let the thought pass.

Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. Colossians 4:6