Raising kids. Keeping House. Choosing joy, every day.

On Painful Politics and Shaming

I watched the second Donald/Hillary debate and lived to tell about it. It was painful.

More painful was the banter on “social” media.

I saw people, Christians, {pastors even} claiming that if you vote for Trump (or Hillary–choose your side), you should hand in your Christian Card.

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Two frustrating aspects of social media right now:

  1. Christians who are questioning the legitimate-ness of another believer’s standing before Christ based on politics
  2. Christians who expect that others act/react/respond their way or, you guessed it, check your Christianity and be publicly shamed.

These things should not be.

Our hope is not in a world system. Our hope is in Christ and although we should vote responsibly, I doubt God would endorse turning inward on each other and biting and devouring one another.

He’s not surprised by any of this. God is actually able and willing to use wicked, sinful people to rule this world and He often has allowed that.

I understand that we are passionate about our positions and that’s a good thing. And passion, when driven by godly love and obedient actions, are a wonderful force for good.

But passion driven by anger or pride, that disregards God’s rules for speaking, acting, reacting and seeks to shut down and condemn another because they don’t agree is simply oppression.

May I just state something?

We don’t need to be the Thought Police AND we shouldn’t EXPECT that people react and respond to political events/news/media the way you do. And please forgo the public shaming.

Humility teaches us that we don’t know it all and shouldn’t insist on our own way.

Don’t project the wrongdoing of any candidate on me because you don’t like the response or lack thereof you are detecting from me.

Let’s give people the dignity to think for themselves, process in their own way, and respond or not.

Some of us choose not to publicly respond to the latest scandal and the media’s fear mongering because there’s wisdom in being quick to hear and much, much slower to speak, and even slower to become passionately angry and mouthy.

Isn’t it interesting how anger and corrupting speech walk hand-in-hand so often? And don’t you see so much of that this election cycle?

I’ve had the good fortune to be surrounded by wonderful people who respect my opinion especially when it comes to areas where we are not on the same page.

I have friends who are more passionate about certain social issues than I am, and God has given them “fire” in their belly to advocate for said causes in ways I never could.

It’s contagious to be around them.

It’s inspiring to be with them, and spending time with them makes me more compassionate and aware of their causes.

But I NEVER feel condemned or in competition with them. I know that they are serving God with A SOVEREIGNLY GIVEN GIFT-SET complete with sensitivities, desires, opportunities, and awareness to impact that task right where they are.

When I have coffee with one, I am inspired to consider the homeless more than I do. Another, racial justice. Another, fostering. Another, the single moms in our area.

And isn’t this how it should be?

Should they be condemning me because I am not just like them and don’t act the way they think I should in these areas?

No, I should be passionate to do the tasks that God has gifted me to do and help the people in my sphere of influence. I can applaud them for their obedience and they can respect the work I am doing.

There’s no group think or shaming because love assumes the best and humility doesn’t put us up on a chair looking down judging others who are not meeting our expectations.

Friends, we need to set boundaries on our emotions especially in the areas where we are passionate. And when you think you are justified in your “righteous indignation” remember to adhere even more strictly to the commands of scripture when you begin to censure or judge others. Watch your words. Check the log in your own eye before you set out to judge the splinter in your brother’s eye.

We cannot allow what is big to us to become “the end all” and an excuse for poor behavior, corrupt speech, or spiritual abuse.

Jesus Christ is the end all. His Word rules the day. We follow His ways especially in areas of disagreement.

The world is watching. My kids are watching.

Don’t let pride fuel your words and actions. Don’t anesthetize your conscience into thinking that because you are decent and loving to 90% of the people, that God will overlook the 10% you are slamming, demeaning, or publicly embarrassing because you think you are right politically.

Never back away from a good chance to hold your tongue. Especially when you disagree. Pray before you respond.

“I feel a strong desire to tell you–
and I expect you feel a strong desire to tell me–
which of these two errors is the worse. That is the devil getting at us. He always sends errors into the world in pairs–pairs of opposites. And he always encourages us to spend a lot of time thinking which is the worse. You see why, of course? He relies on your extra dislike of the one error to draw you gradually into the opposite one. But do not let us be fooled. We have to keep our eyes on the goal and go straight between both errors. We have no other concern than that with either of them.” C.S. Lewis- Mere Christianity

 

State your positions in love. Forgo the arrogance and insults. Give the listeners the dignity of respect. Because in the end, your word represent you alone and you stand before God and answer for them.