It seems our society as a whole has lost the ability to think critically. Instead of spending time in deep thought, we have become a society of reactors. When we see situation, we respond. We no longer take the time to process our decisions. Our actions are decisive and often made in a moment wrought with emotion. We no longer weigh the balance of our immediate feelings against the values we profess to hold. We seem to care less about relationships than we do about our political opinions. We have dumbed down our responses to online posts on a social media platform. Here’s a news flash…we will never change a person’s mind through an impersonal mode of communication.
Our political system, at its core, was created to take care of the needs of the people and uphold the freedoms we all possess. Our freedoms seem to have become so top heavy that they are toppling over themselves like a basket of laundry that has been stacked too high. We have folded and caved to appetites that will devour us. That which held our nation together two hundred years ago was our Judeo-Christian values. Our nation’s morality, our understanding of right and wrong, was the cream skimmed from the top of the example we witnessed in the life and ministry of Jesus.
Jesus doesn’t crave our patriotic devotion. What Jesus wants from us is a life lived out in service to our neighbor. Jesus desires for us to build His kingdom through acts of love and expression of grace. Matthew 10:42 says, “And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because they are my disciple, I tell you the truth, they will certainly not lose their reward.” Jesus rewards even the smallest act of kindness done in His name. Offering a popsicle to a child on a hot day, passing out a cold bottle of water to a homeless person, or speaking an unexpected word of blessing into a person’s life can make a difference.
As Christians, we must do what my grandma always encouraged me to do when she said, “Use your head for someone other than a hat rack.” Before we react, we must think. We must consider our values while processing our emotions. Before we react to other people’s opinions, political propaganda, or unwanted commentary from others, LET US PAUSE! Our witness can be at stake when we comment, even if we don’t mean for our comments to be taken in a negative way. Sometimes the kindest thing we can do is to keep our mouths closed and to keep our fingers off the keyboard.
There are times when the greatest expression of grace is a word left unspoken. Social media and the political arena aren’t the only places a Christian person must be wary. It can be easy for a Christian to take on a critical spirit. This critical spirit often goes ahead of us into every situation we enter. Instead of using our witness to bring people closer to Christ, we may spend our time assessing the “rightness” and the “wrongness” of every conversation and of every person we meet. Instead of spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, we may pass our unsolicited opinions on to someone who may need hands of grace instead. If we spread criticism everywhere we go, we prove that we don’t believe in the power of the Holy Spirit to truly change people’s lives. Spiritual arrogance is a dangerous and often undetected condition of the heart. To assume that we know the mind of God and how God intends for things to be shows our pridefulness. Our view cannot be God’s perfect view; and therefore our beliefs, no matter how well formulated we think they are, are not based in perfection.
Let us humble ourselves before God our Creator. Let us “have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in the very nature of God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in the appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!” (Philippians 2:6-8)