September 29, 2020by Reverend Dan on December 31, 1969
“Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in Heaven.
If you watch the news or read social media, you’d swear people are losing their minds. The country is more polarized, more divided, and angrier than ever before.
I wish I could tell you that Christians were doing their part to help heal the wounds, but many professed followers of Christ have been sucked in by the rhetoric and instead of being a light in the world, they’re adding to the darkness.
I understand. I really do. The pandemic has everyone on edge. Racial unrest and upheaval are at a height not seen since the 60’s. The economy. The election. It is all upsetting and frustrating.
But folks, the world is watching. That means people look to you as a Christian to see how you will respond to everything that’s going on. And when they see us join in the fray, when they see us as part of the problem, that chinks away at the witness of our faith and diminishes the voice of Christ in the world.
Christians should be leading the way to the answer, not fueling the fire. We should be part of the solution, not the problem. In a season where the church has the opportunity to gain ground, in many places we’re losing it.
It can take years to build respect and trust, but it only takes seconds to lose it. So for the people who may be looking to you for guidance to see what a Christian would do in these times, every post, rant, rave, text, forwarded email or action you take is going to be exhibit “A” for the prosecution. The second you let your emotions and prejudices rule your response, the world sees a hypocritical Christian and they lose their trust not only in you but in Christianity as well. IN one fell swoop, you have destroyed both your credibility and that of the faith.
So, what should we do? First, realize that a lot of what everyone sees today is viewed through the lens of emotion. You see something, you read something, and you feel you have to respond immediately. Your heart starts beating faster. You feel upset. And that anger derails your brain. And then in an attempt to address the situation, you make it worse.
I have a personal rule I try to follow. If I feel something really stir my ire, I try and wait 72 hours to respond. That gives the emotion time to abate. Sleep on it, pray about it, but don’t respond immediately. You’ll find that after 72 hours, something amazing happens. You get your brain back. Then you can respond with grace and integrity and dignity. You can respond as a Christian is called to. You see, if Christians prayed as much as they talked, we’d have a different church and a different world.
With some restraint, humility, and wisdom, we can be part of the solution instead of the problem. Let your witness be a light in a dark world.
Dear God, Please hear our prayers and help us to hear Your Voice as we respond to the world around us. In Jesus’ name, AMEN.