“God isn’t the event. God is in how we respond to the event.”
That quote jumped out at me this week from an unlikely source, a TV show. I was simply trying to drown out the world and numb my mind to the craziness happening this week. It wasn’t a show about God, but there in a random storyline came a message I needed to hear.
I have been struggling with how to react to the things happening in the world right now. I have been struggling with how those things are being discussed on Facebook and social media. There is so much hatred, division, and cruelty being spewed everywhere that I just wanted to shut it all out. Which is what led me to binge watch a show about midwife nuns in post WWII England, Call the Midwife. I didn’t want to see another post agreeing or disagreeing with the latest political moves. I didn’t want to see another meme passive aggressively making fun of a group of people. So I put my phone down, turned on the TV, and got an unexpected message.
That struggling to understand what is going on in the world has also left me with a bit of writer’s block for a blog post. I normally think about it all week and sit down to write on Saturdays. This week though I didn’t know what to say. I had a lot of questions for God this week that only seemed to go unanswered. I didn’t know what to write because I didn’t feel like He had given me any words this week. It’s now Sunday and the only thing I keep coming back to is that quote.
When something happens, good or bad, we are quick to claim it was an act of God. Leaders are elected, laws are passed, natural disasters happen, people die and many speak about how those things are God’s will. How often, though, do we stop to think that maybe God shows up more in how we react to an event than in the event itself? Is God the hurricane that destroys thousands of homes or is He in the volunteers that help rebuild the homes?
This idea easily translates to what is happening on social media right now, not in the issues, but in how people are treating each other. Is God the post someone makes voicing their opinion on an issue, or is He in the way people reply to that post. Furthermore, where is the devil in all of this? Are the things we are sharing, liking, and posting on social media bringing glory to God and sharing His love with others or are they only contributing to the division and hatred brewing online? Posting on these sites has become second nature to us, but are you taking time to think about what your post is saying about you and, more importantly, God?
I am not perfect in my beliefs or the way I convey them on social media, but I try to be very careful with what I do and say online. I rarely make political statements or declarations about my beliefs on certain issues. I do not engage in arguments in comment sections. This is partially because I know how easy it is to misinterpret meanings, but it is also because my beliefs are just that, mine. I don’t need you to agree with me to make my views on things valid. I also respect your beliefs and accept that we can disagree without a dispute or a need to declare one of our views as correct.
Social media is also, in my opinion, not a place to take action. I believe if I feel strongly enough about an issue then I need to take physical action toward it, instead of complaining about it on Facebook. Liking a charity’s page and sharing their status is great, but it doesn’t do much to help further their cause. I can share a meme about the dire state of our education system or I can roll up my sleeves and find a place to help fix it.
I fear social media has provided us with the opportunity to say things in a public forum we would never say to someone face to face. It has allowed for some people to show their true colors, but it has also caused people to over exaggerate their feelings. It has allowed for such negativity and hatred to develop in a way we have never seen before. What I think so many of us don’t realize is how many people are watching us online and taking to heart the things that are being said.
We are called to rise about the world. “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2. I’m not saying social media is bad and too “of this world” to be enjoyed by those who seek to live a Godly life. I just think if we are striving to follow Jesus and share His love with others we should be thinking twice before hitting the post button.
I believe, when it comes down to it, all that really matters is whether or not you knew Jesus and showed Him to anyone. Today, however, there are more eyes on us than ever before. I want to make sure the things I do and say are allowing me to speak life for others and not help plant seeds of doubt in someone’s fragile faith. I don’t put on the label of christian lightly because I know it is one I can’t ever take off. When I go out to eat, when I sit in church on Sunday mornings, when I post on social media, I am wearing my christian label and representing God’s love. God is in my response to the things around me. Everything I do matters. It’s a big deal.
Would now be a bad time to ask you to like and share this post? If this post or any of my others spoke some life to you please take a second to share them with someone else.