Currently, I’m coming to you “live” from the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport as I wait for my connecting flight to Meridian. I’m heading down there to get the rest of my and Jessica’s things out of storage and driving them back in a Uhaul truck. If you’re finding out about my trip down south by this blog post, you have my apologies. Unfortunately, this is a very quick trip and I’m not going to have time to really do anything besides get things loaded and such. I’ll be driving back to Kentucky on Friday morning. Talk about a whirlwind trip!
A lot of people have asked about my decision to take a fast from Facebook. There were many reasons why I decided to do this but I have honestly found it refreshing. It took a few days to get used to not checking my Facebook newsfeed and notifications constantly (the only contact I’ve had on Facebook is managing my church’s new Facebook page, which you can find here). I have been reminded that it’s OK to not know everything all the time. It’s OK to not be tethered to my phone seemingly 24/7, waiting for something to happen. It’s also OK to not be bombarded with controversy constantly.
I have to be honest about something but let me preface my comments with a reminder to all of my friends: I love you. I enjoy getting to know more about you, seeing picture of kids, grandkids, vacations and other special times in your life.
What I don’t enjoy is the bigotry I encounter on social media all the time. There are so many posts on a given day that, whether the author realizes it or not, is laced with racism and other bigotry. Quite frankly, it drives me crazy. It also is not Christ-like and it really hurts me to know that many of the posts of this nature that I see are from people who profess to be Christians. It’s not my place to judge whether someone truly is or is not a Christian. I will say that actions and words that demean a race, other faith or any other factor of a person’s identity do nothing for the image of Christ. What it does accomplish is reinforcing the stereotype that many people hold which states that Christians are hateful bigots.
When our aim is just to be right or to defeat a group rather than showing them the love of Christ, we harm our witness. And possibly, we destroy it altogether.
I’m sorry to be so blunt but I have not missed such posts which seem to be non-stop. Don’t misunderstand me: It’s perfectly fine to have convictions and to advance those convictions. It is not alright to demean someone or a group of people. There is a difference. We have to remember that Christ gives us the example to follow when it comes to dealing with people outside of our faith or with whose views, lifestyle or whatever we don’t agree with: We love them just as he loved the people of the time that he disagreed with. When we affirm our faith in Christ we also affirm a calling: We are to love as he, to this day, loves us.
I will return to my social media once my 40 days is over in a few more weeks. And I know that I will once again be exposed to posts that make my skin crawl. However, there will be a change in my utilization of my personal social media. I will not engage in mean-spirited debates. Quite frankly, they do not reflect Christ and they also do absolutely nothing besides raise blood pressure. Instead, I will strive to offer Christ with everything that I post. I will post things that I find funny, insightful and edifying. Above all, I will not be negative. Period. I also will not go out of my way to insult anyone.
I can not expect others to reflect Christ if I don’t make sure that I’m doing it myself.
As I have written these words, my departure gate to Meridian has been changed so I will soon make my way to the new gate (don’t worry, I still have an hour before we board). I ask you pray for safe travel and that I don’t melt in the Gulf of Mexico humidity!