I have thick skin. I don’t fear what people think. Most of the time. I don’t worry about offending people when I’m speaking truth because truth is offensive to those who aren’t guided by Truth. I have strong convictions and have no problem sharing those convictions. I’m a knowledge seeker and when I’ve reached a light bulb moment, I’m compelled to share it with the world because I’m convinced there are others like me searching for the cord dangling in the dark.
About 9 or 10 years ago, I signed up to take part in a Susan G Komen Breast Cancer walk. I began fundraising, began training with a friend. Then another friend sent me a quick email to let me know the breakdown of where that money went. A portion funded Planned Parenthood. At that moment, I was out. In good conscience, I could not raise money to save life while knowing any money, even if only one cent, went to end life. To me it was insane for an organization saving life to support any taking of life.
I read everything there was. I talked to the Susan G Komen Foundation. I heard all the justifications about how it was for educational materials not actual abortion procedures. To me any money sent to Planned Parenthood is directly funding abortion. I was done. I hung up my walking shoes, emailed all those who had contributed money with an apology. Then I found another breast cancer fundraiser to support that funded no money to Planned Parenthood.
When I made that decision, it never dawned on me what people would think. I was compelled by the knowledge I now held. God brought light into the darkness. I now held information I didn’t previously hold. I had a choice with what to do.
I was quite surprised by many reactions. Some gave an awkward silence. Some sent me pages and pages of information to change my mind. I had one friend actually pull away from me. She didn’t “stop” being my friend, but her heart moved away from me after I stood on my convictions. She disagreed with me and allowed the issue to divide us.
That is what I see happening on Facebook right now. (Facebook will limit the reach of this article I’m sure, but I’ll write it anyway.) Friends being divided over issues rather than allowed to disagree while remaining united by love.
Social Media has become a place of airing out, debating, quarreling, and attacking. It’s noisy. It’s biased. The issues hold the platform. People hide behind their screens and blast their thoughts in an attack of the person over social and cultural issues oftentimes.
Where is our logical reasoning? Where is our heart? Where is our ability to enter into healthy discussions? It seems to have disappeared.
I love open-minded discussions. We had friends visit over the summer. We had a heated debate on our screen porch late into one evening. We disagreed strongly with each other, but we did it face to face using reasoning rather than attack methods. The next day we marveled at how only good friends can do that. We didn’t change our opinion of each other. We loved these friends the same the day after. But on social media people take on a new face. One of false bravery.
It doesn’t take courage to post your view on Facebook. Anyone can do that.
Social media has worn me down. Writing online can do that. You place your thoughts and convictions out there and it incites some people. We are a culture prowling for those who dare disagree with us. If you stand for truth, you are intolerant. You are judgemental. And the ultimate. If you stand on the grounds of absolute, you aren’t showing grace. I’ve never seen this more clearly than when I wrote about 50 Shades of Grey.
Grace. How easy this word is tossed around the waves of social media. How quick we are to use it as a word weapon against Christians who won’t budge on moral convictions.
When you write online, you invite chaos into your life. And noise.
For a little over a year, social media has been weighing me down. The deception is more than I can bear. I read articles and thoughts of Christians and want to weep over the deception I see. It’s as though the world has rubbed off on the Christians. “Here, share my blindfold with me. We can walk together.”
In an effort to “reach” people, Christians are laying down their convictions and trying to bring unity by joining hands with the world. Watering down the gospel many times. Jesus didn’t do this. He never wavered from truth. He never used whatever methods it took to bring people to Him. He was pure love, reaching the sinner with the heart of the gospel. Jesus reached people by being the Son of God. He didn’t put on one face for some and another for a different group. He was perfect love, perfect justice, perfect mercy. Perfect everything. But His words were hard to swallow.
When you speak truth, your words will go down like gravel for some. It will incite them. Inflame them. They will spew at you. They will despise you. They will say that you aren’t showing grace. They will use christian words against you.
But if you are speaking truth. Truly truth, then does it matter? I’m not talking about opinions. I’m talking about truth based on Biblical principles. Are we responsible for what people think? If you love Jesus, you will be hated by the world. The world hates Jesus. Therefore, the world will hate you too.
Last week, I posted an article by Todd Starnes about the UNC students who “quietly” protested the national anthem. This action by these students grieved me. I don’t care if it’s a quiet or loud protest. That wasn’t the point. The point was that men and women have died for their freedom to protest. But to protest the national anthem, the giving of their freedom. It’s like they are protesting freedom. This was simply my opinion. I’m not claiming this is a Biblical truth, so please don’t misunderstand this point.
I was grieved because there are oppressed people all over this world. Truly oppressed. But these students attend an amazing university, live in a free country, enjoy luxury that the rest of the world can’t wrap their head around. At the root of this protest I see entitlement, a lack of gratitude and thankfulness.
This is not to say that each of these students hasn’t truly suffered a personal injustice, heartbreaks, unfairness, or racial division. That may be the case. And for each of these individual souls, my heart grieves for what I don’t know about their personal lives. But to protest the national anthem is disgraceful.
This country doesn’t need more division. When I posted that article on Facebook, it immediately brought critics. Of course it would. I had to delete some of the comments. They were nasty. Some were fine, which I left alone.
That is just one tiny incident. It seems that in this political climate, in this culture of a complete turning away from true Christianity, this world is blending in so that Christians aren’t set apart anymore. Facebook news feeds are full of static.
The more I checked my feed, the more anxious I felt in my soul. The more articles I read, the more heartbroken I became. The more “connected” I was, the more disconnected I felt.
So I checked out. I posted a note on my page that I was taking a break for awhile. I deleted the Facebook app off my phone. I moved over to posting more on Instagram and allowing the newfound silence to soak into my soul.
It’s been one week and I feel like a new person. Truly a new person. My soul feels so at rest. I am spending more time in prayer. My mind is set on God in the cracks of my day rather than wondering what is going on in the world. I don’t have a clue what is going on with the election or the weather or world affairs. All I know right now is that I needed a break.
I’ve so enjoyed the silence and this newfound peace. But this nudging started. A little whisper from God to enjoy this break but to know it’s only a break.
Selfishly, I want to remove myself from social media for good. I’m a better mom when I’m off Facebook. I’m a better friend and wife. I am calmer, less reactive. I’m relaxed. All that focus on me and God is whispering that it’s not about me.
He’s given me a voice. And He is the giver of strength to step into any world He desires I step into. In my strength, I will wear down. In His strength, we can fight on.
This culture is an animal. I imagine the world has never seen anything like it. Christians with a voice, stand strong. Speak up in truth with love. The enemy wants you to remain silent. The world needs love for sure. The world is in desperate need for Jesus. America grieves my heart because it’s filled with people who identify as a christian that have no relationship with Christ. The deception is far and wide here.
If you are like me, and the weight of the world viewed through social media seems too much to bear, maybe it’s time for a retreat. A time to get away from it. To hit the reset button. A time to soak in much needed quiet, where you won’t hear the opinions of the friends of your friends, rather you will hear more clearly from the One who is speaking in a whisper.
Maybe He wants to use that time to help you reconnect to Him. To practice meditating on His Word. To practice being ok with silence and stillness. Maybe He wants to remind you that He is your strength. And maybe He will lead you back to connecting to the world online in a more powerful way because it will be through Him and not you.