in a time of so much divisiveness over EVERY issue — whether it’s politically or whether you’re allowed to hate cats — there is this supercharged sense of us vs. them. at any moment, someone can turn against you for a myriad of things and make you a martyr for a cause you might have only partially cared about. as someone with strong opinions and a certainty of where i stand on many issues, i have found silence to be a tool that is quite valuable. there is for sure a time to speak up, to make your voice heard. but there is also this verse in the bible about a fool vents his full anger, while a wise man brings calm in the end (proverbs 29:11). or the one about even a fool being thought wise if he keeps silent (proverbs 17:28). or a fool is one whom belittles his neighbor while a wise man remains quiet (proverbs 11:12).
in this day and age (i can say this because i’m 90 years old), everything is LOUD. there are a million ads and commercials and marketing materials in your face screaming about the worth of their product. there is various social medias to share your every thought, picture, experience. quietness is not upheld as it should be. rest and silence, meekness and solitude are seen as qualities of the weak — those without opinions or lives or something to post about. i mean, here i am deciding to post about this various topic because I NEED YOU TO KNOW WHAT I THINK, HOW I FEEL. this is not necessarily bad. but it’s gotten bad. read any comment board, hear people’s opinions about any. thing. and you realize how much we pride ourselves in our own experiences and thoughts. the problem is that no one wants to listen. as christians, we should be slow to speak, slow to anger. instead we are keyboard-warriors demanding that the world agree with us because we have a few valid points and inflammatory language to boot. what if we remembered that our enemy is not the a$$hat that commented back to us on a facebook news article or the person that cut you off in traffic (no, seriously, they aren’t your enemy, cuss at them though you might) or the girl who dumped you for no apparent reason.
sometimes people suck. but so do you. and the bible says that our “struggle is NOT AGAINST FLESH AND BLOOD but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” DID YOU HEAR THAT? you are free to love people! they aren’t your enemies. you can embrace their quirks and their annoying opinions and all their rage because YOU ARE FREE. you aren’t bound to your strongest opinion, there is no hill you should die on unless it’s the one at the foot of the cross of jesus. when he was facing his enemies, he remained silent. in the face of the pure evil, of being spit on, of being nailed to a cross — HE DIDN’T DEMAND PEOPLE WORSHIP HIM THOUGH THEY SHOULD. he humbly gave himself to death on a cross for us. have you ever come humbly to anything? to your enemies, to your neighbors, to your “haters”?
in a time where everyone cares about everything and you have to make a stand lest you be seen as weak, use jesus as your example. don’t boast in your political party or your righteousness (as you have none apart from him) or your good deeds or your apparent aversion to ever being wrong. you are allowed to boast in only one thing — the cross of christ and what it did for your sorry self (okay, and mine too). what if we sat down, shut up, served those we despised? what if we really became more like jesus?
what if when the world had all turned against us, we said “forgive them for they know not what they do?” (luke 23:34). what if compassion ruled the day, our allegiance to jesus and nothing else ruled our lives? i pray that we would all be humble carriers of grace, quickest to speak gently and lovingly to all we come in contact with.