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Looking Different than the World

There are many times when I’ve realized my blog is just going to have to be different.

I love to write about many different areas of life. However, one struggle that I think most writers have is exactly where to draw the line. When does openness and authenticity lead to airing too much of our (or our loved one’s) dirty laundry? For the past few years I’ve gone through a difficult trial, where I’m struggling with certain people who seem to be against me. Writing often helps me cope and work through my feelings, but honestly, it means that many, MANY of my posts get deleted. Not because they’re poorly written or uninteresting…not at all! I’m sure one day I’ll be able to write about these struggles and encourage many who are walking down a similar road. But often my passion about a topic, or my sharing of a situation leads me to give up too many details and has the potential to hurt those whom I’ve been hurt by. It’s like I want to scream my story out to the world, a story that right now I can’t properly tell. Some days I write and end up in a complete mess of words that will benefit no one.

And then God gently nudges me back; back to the reason I started this blog.

It’s not a place to vent. It’s not a place to accuse. It’s not a platform to stand and share my woes, so that people can feel sorry for me!

The purpose of my blog is simply this: I want to be a light in a world full of darkness. I want to be a quiet voice of truth among thousands of angry screams. I want to call people back, out of the way the world deals with hardships, and into God’s way; the way that leads to TRUE peace. 

Sadly, we live in a world where public shaming and Facebook “rants” that tear others down is the norm; where sarcastic memes and rude comments seem to have taken over people’s thoughts and emotions. True, biblical, and godly ways seem to be long forgotten, and the absence of them have left an aching void, a void we try so desperately to fill with more Facebook rants and memes.

When “Sarah” has family issues and “asks for advice” on Facebook, what she’s really looking for is not a godly solution, rather what she wants is a mob-like group to gather around her, taking “her side” and justifying the hate that rages within. I sometimes wonder if true godly advice were given, how many people would turn and ruthlessly attack the soul who cared enough to provide loving truth, rather then just feeding the longing for pity. We’d call them insensitive…or worse.

These viral hate-filled rants, they are the cancer of Facebook.

In them we assassinate the characters of those we’ve never met…but the irony is that we don’t really care to know the truth. We just love to feed our thirst for revenge. And the victim? We don’t really care about them either, they’re usually forgotten anyways before we even finish scrolling to the next item on our news feed.

Every day it seems, like another “victim” of the world brings their story public, conveniently leaving out some key details, resulting a viral one-sided video where thousands rally against an enemy they’ve never met, calling for their end. Do we ever stop to consider what this actually does to the person who carries the weight of this condemnation for the rest of their life? Do we stop to consider that maybe, the story was twisted and now the true victim is the one we’ve just slaughtered with our careless words, while we go on with our day forgetting it all. A person who may lie awake at night, worrying about who may recognize him on the street, who wonders if his life will ever be the same.

Even if the story is true, does one mistake caught on video warrant the shaming and slander it receives? Think about your worst moment…you wouldn’t want it shared online, for thousands of people to view and comment on, would you?

I wonder, how are our times any different then the stoning or public executions of the past? We love to do this; wag our fingers at the mistakes of the old days, the “uneducated” past, all the while living completely callous to what our culture does every single day!

It is so easy to get caught up in it! How easy it is to get caught up into thinking: “If only, I could get justice, if only they would pay for the way they hurt me, if only people would see who they really are…THEN I’d be at peace!”

Can I just tell you from experience, this doesn’t work? It really doesn’t! All the revenge, all the gossip and all the “venting” in the world has never succeeded in bringing a lasting peace. In fact, these things make it WORSE. The longer we focus on making everything fair for ourselves, the unhappier and unhappier we become, until we are consumed with blaming our every misfortune, our every bad choice on the one who has hurt us. Oh the number of people who have walked down the path of bitterness, never to return, and even after they have gotten the justice they pursued, there is no joy; just a deeply damaged soul crying: “If I’ve finally gotten all I ever hoped for, then why do I still feel empty?”

The most unhappy souls I meet, are those who are focused on getting what they rightfully deserve (or what they think they rightfully deserve).

Dear friends, there’s only One who right all the wrongs. There’s only One who can bring beauty from ashes. There’s only One who can take the broken pieces of your soul and mend them back together. His name is Jesus. And he calls us to forgive. A thousand times over we are to forgive. And sometimes when the damage done to us is so bad, so deep and so repeated, we feel like Jesus is asking far too much of us.

And sometimes when I feel this way, I cry out: “God why do you ask SO much of us? Does this person really deserve my forgiveness again?!?”

And the gracious, most understanding, answer comes echoing back: “Dear Child, that’s the beauty of forgiveness…it’s completely undeserved.”

In a world that is constantly screaming: “Give me what I deserve”, may we, the church, rise up and show the bitter world around us a better way, one that brings lasting freedom and peace: Forgiveness.

 

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