I don’t know about you, but my social media feeds are leaving me feeling more and more disheartened. Post after post of negativity. Some of it is based on facts, a lot of it isn’t. And it’s left me turning more and more to God for wisdom and discernment in this climate filled with emotions so heightened, so charged it’s as though an electrical current is running through every Facebook post, shocking us over and over each time we glance at a screen.
God’s word tells us in James 1:5 that “if you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.”
So as I’ve wrestled with how I am to approach this current culture, I’ve prayed to my generous Father for wisdom.
Lord, what can I do?
And He answered me with these words.
I can love someone without agreeing with them on everything….or anything.
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you are also to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35)
I can debate without being degrading or dismissive.
“I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” (Ephesians 4:1)
I can show grace without judgement.
You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgement seat. It is written: ‘As surely as I live’, says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will acknowledge God.’ So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God. Therefore let us stop passing judgement on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister.” (Romans 14)
I can offer help when we see a need. But it might not be the same need that someone else feels called to provide for.
“For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but think of yourself with sober judgement, according to the measure of faith God has given you. Just as each of us has one body with many members, and not all members have the same function, so in Christ we who are many are one body, and each member belongs to another.” (Romans 12:3-5)
I can let my light shine for the Lord without desiring praise here on earth. I can serve Him quietly and in ways that no one will ever know about because I do it for His glory, not mine.
“Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, like some people, letters of recommendation to you or from you? You yourselves are our letter, inscribed on our hearts, known and read by everyone. You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. Such confidence we have through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God.” (2 Corinthians 3:1-5)
I can proclaim the truth of the gospel message of Jesus Christ without holding others accountable to it who have never claimed Him as their Savior.
“For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness’, made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.” (2 Corinthians 4:5-6)
I can be gentle and humble.
“Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future.”(Ephesians 4)
I can exhibit in my words and actions the truest definition of love.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)
There is so much right now that is topsy-turvy. So much turmoil. So much that is outside of our control. But, as I’ve prayed God, has reminded me of what I CAN control. I can control me and trust Him with the rest.
That’s what I can do.