My inner workings – what people of old would call the bowels of my being (my heart, lungs, liver, spleen and intestines) – sunk with discouragement.
And ugh, again.
I asked myself, “Where, oh where is the joy? Where is kindness and care? Where is blessing? Where is a good, good word?”
I don’t know if your Facebook or news thread is much like mine, but, it appears that a disturbing and disheartening virus is swelling across my long and wide social network.
Discouragement and disgust have infected many hearts and minds. Their printed words and alarming video clips declare their disdain. When did it become increasingly, socially acceptable to insult and attack? When did it become okay to slam, slay, and slight? When did it become the norm to be impatient, rude, and harsh?
Isn’t growing and cultivating relationships of love, respect, and understanding much more powerful and helpful to us all?
I do not lay the blame of this infection on any one person or event. In fact, I must ask myself if my words, my actions, my appearance, or my demeanor contribute to this negative force in any way.
I hope not.
I strive to encourage, love, and bless others with heartening words and uplifting, fun, family and ministry photos as much as I can.
I imagine you do, too.
I desire to live a life that reflects well upon my Lord and Savior. Because the fact of the matter is that as a follower of Christ, the great purpose of my life is to love my God and to love others because of the generous, abounding and abiding love I have received from Him.
Loving God and loving others is my holy pursuit.
The Word of the Lord says:
Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.
New International Version, Hebrews 12:14
Or said another way:
Work at getting along with each other and with God. Otherwise, you’ll never get so much as a glimpse of God.
The Message, Hebrews 12:14
Seeking peace and harmony with others – making every effort to understand, honor, respect, and love our family, friends, neighbors, and workmates – is integral to growing and deepening our relationship not only with them, but with God Himself. Because if we don’t, God warns us. We won’t get to know Him. We don’t even get to see Him!
We are exhorted:
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
New International Version, Matthew 5:9
As we take this obedient step towards peace, we honor our God. He will call us His own. He encourages us to keep making this effort:
If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
New International Version, Romans 12:18
In light of this charge, we need to ask ourselves:
What are we saying?
What are we doing?
What are we thinking?
What are we posting?
And, what are we NOT saying, doing and thinking that affects our relationships with others, too?
We need to demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit of peace in practical ways:
Are we being kind?
Are we being respectful?
Are we honoring others – even if we disagree with them?
Are we offering an encouraging word?
Are we holding our tongue when it’s the wise thing to do?
Are we choosing to keep engaging with others – rather than deleting social accounts because we are just so fed up with the negativity?
I do not pray that you should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one.
New International Version, John 17:15
No, if anything, it is more important than ever to keep engaging, keep interacting, keep loving, and keep being kind and respectful in our family, friend, and work relationships and in our social networks, too.
We keep focused upon a holy pursuit – to grow more and more in our relationship in Christ and demonstrate His kindness, His love, and His peace to counteract the discouragement, despair, and disgust that have infiltrated and infected the hearts of too many.
The Lord is calling us to be His peacemakers in this distressed, frustrated, and impatient world. It’s our objective and calling as Christ-followers to love others at all times and in all places. We begin on a pathway to peace.
I’m going to give it a go.
Let’s promote love, kindness, and care – extending a word of peace, joy, and comfort – to grow and cultivate our relationships with each other and with our God.
It matters in the here and now and for the Kingdom of God to come.
This is why I’m still on Facebook – and why I’m still engaging.
I want to keep spreading the peace and love of Christ and counteract the ugh, ugh, ugh, that I see and read in this world. I want to hear about your lives and hear how God is at work in them, too. I love being connected to you!
Images retrieved from Google Search for Facebook Images