Well, Pastor Jim asked some of us to write a devotional or encouraging words for y’all. So, I apologize in advance for Pastor Jim’s judgment error when he asked me!
I would like to invite a little bit of introspection as it relates to how we, as Christ followers, present our beliefs. Especially on social media platforms. Recently one of my wife’s coworkers said (excuse the language in the next sentence) “I’m so glad you are a Christian who is not an asshole.” Wow, what a sobering statement. Is that how people see us? Is that how people see you?
For me, some of the things I see my Christian friends and family post on social media is pretty disheartening. I see people mocking conservatives/Republicans or liberals/Democrats. I think to myself “Why would anyone, who doesn’t see the world the same as you, want to come to your church?” If we are called to be witnesses, shouldn’t our goal be to shine a light that would make someone want to come to our church and experience the love of God?
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”
“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”
“If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”
I guess we should go back to the old litmus test “What would Jesus do?” Before you hit that “post” button ask yourself “Would Jesus say this?” or “Does this present my beliefs in a kind and loving way?” Or even (excuse the language again) “Will this make me sound like an asshole?”
I am not saying this to condemn anyone or to tell you to eschew what you believe. I am simply inviting you take a closer look at the words you say and use, and if those words shine God’s light to those around you.
Lane Taylor, musician