The One Thing We Always Need to Hear
One of the difficulties of committing to a blog, for me, is not a problem of not knowing what to say. It is a problem of knowing how and when to say it. Often as I read news articles, social commentaries, Facebook posts, tweets, and other blogs, I find myself disappointed, disgusted, infuriated, or arrogantly bemused at someone else’s apparent ignorance. Those emotional responses to others are rarely the soil out of which gracious, meaningful, transformational communication grows. So, taking to heart the old saw that “it is better for a man to keep his mouth shut and let the world think him a fool than open his moth and prove it,” I often don’t write. At least not until I’ve answered the questions: How can I respond like Jesus and when is the best setting to make a response.
I’ve learned that on Facebook, it is almost never a good time to challenge the thinking behind a post. Facebook is usually for relational support not mental exercise. Most folks seem to want their thoughts affirmed not challenged, so asking them to consider some other aspect of the topic they are addressing, or to reframe their ideas in some other context is interpreted as personal rejection rather than social edification. Folks don’t seem to like that. So, for the sake of peace, to which we are called as Christians to live in as much as it relies on us (Hebrews 12:14), more and more I keep my thoughts to myself.
But there are some things about which neither I nor you should remain silent, regardless of the effect it may have upon those who will hear. One such topic is the fact that time is drawing short and now more than ever people need to understand the precarious nature of sin and judgment and the grace of God. No one in the world wants to hear that their life choices aren’t pleasing to a holy God. No one wants to hear that sin subjects them to judgment and the judgment awaiting unrepentant sinners is eternal punishment in hell. No one wants to hear it, but everyone needs to hear it! And faith comes by hearing, so someone has to tell it for it to be heard.
We should not be silent about God’s love and the fact that in love God sent His Son, Jesus to bear the penalty of sin on our behalf. We should not be silent about the fact that God forgives anyone who puts their faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and commits their lives to loving and serving Him. We should not be silent about Jesus and His claim on the lives of those He created. No, we should not be silent about Jesus.
Perhaps, rather than attempting to configure social perceptions about the issues of the day, we ought to focus on proclaiming Jesus. No, this will not make us popular. In fact, Jesus warned us that devoting our lives to Him as His disciples will get us hated and persecuted just as it got Him hated and persecuted. But maybe, just maybe, it would be better for us all if we endured a little (or a lot) of persecution on behalf of Christ now than to one day, at the moment we stand before Him and given an account of our lives, hear God say, “Depart from me, thou worker of iniquity; I never knew you.”
Yeah. I think I’d rather have some of human being tell me to go to hell and know I’m not going than to have God send me to hell and know that I am going. Faithfulness may not get us social respect but it does get us heaven, which is better by far. So, I will choose how and when to speak what needs to be spoken, but there are some things I commit to not being silent about, namely Jesus.
What about you?