I am the first person to admit I have a social media problem...when my mind wanders, I absent-mindedly pick up my phone and type on Instagram or Facebook.
Lately, I have really been thinking about social media and its effect on me and others in our culture. As I scroll from article to article bashing those that vaccinate, those that don't, those that (Fill in the blank) and those that don't and most recently status after status condemning a local, beloved teacher for her mistake of drinking on the job. My heart aches.
Sitting behind a computer screen, our fingers feel brave. Our words become intense beyond what we would say face to face and we forget the person staring at the computer across town is human. Human. Loved by the one true king.
We are ready with a condemning comment, snide remark, hateful word and one-sided opinion behind a computer screen.
I have become disillusioned and convicted by it all. Let me share why...
So a local kindergarten teacher was caught drinking at school. I worked with her (didn't know her well but I knew her) and she was/is beloved by former students, families and colleagues. My heart broke at the news. What caused her to do this...there must be more than the story they are reporting?
Then I got to thinking, would I react with such sympathy if I didn't know her? The answer unfortunately would probably have been no. I would have rushed to judgement that this teacher was a horrible person and she deserved the penalty she got.
But I know her.
So what if this teacher was your child, your sister, your friend, an acquaintance...would it change your opinion? Would you respond differently? What if we started treating everyone like a person?
Why does any of this matter?
Because God knows us all and loves us despite our faults. We all fall short of his glory and standard. Thankfully he sent Jesus to the cross, as painful as that was for Him, to die for us who all fall short. We all sin, make stupid mistakes some mistakes are just more public then others but God doesn't tier mistakes the way society does. I mean heavens its a good thing there was not Facebook when I was in college...there are some mistakes I wouldn't want the world to see. Can I get an amen?
And yet when we don't know the person and we aimlessly scroll through social media, our hearts condemn. You might not post or comment on a post slaying some person for their poor choices but does your heart condemn them? Mine has. Do I stand up for the broken and condemned or do I sit by and watch it happen?
I am praying for the kindergarten teacher. She may face earthly consequences but I pray she finds eternal redemption and peace, although no one deserves it, God gives every one of us this gift. I pray for her class, her school, her superiors, her families and the families she has had.
When the rubber meets the road, I have to ask myself this question...
Do I act the same way, behind a computer screen, I would if that person stood face to face to me?
My kids are watching, my kids are listening and my kids are learning from my example. I need to be the change I desperately want to see in the world. An encouraging force, a person who understands how messed up I am and how desperate I am for a savior.
I encourage you to be the change you would like to see in the world too --
Build people up.
Post encouraging words.
Express opinions in a thoughtful and kind manner.
Look in the mirror and remember to be humble to your own faults.
Extend your hand in compassion. No one broken ever got back up by be beaten further down.
Be an encouragement for the world who desperately aches for some compassion.
Until next time, keep on keeping on with an intentional, joyful, faith-filled life. #tribekoko
Labels: devotion, Encouragement, kindness