Sometimes, the loud voices on the interwebs make me want to dig my head in the sand or slam my keyboard with my fists like my 2-year-old. The opinions all day every day of what’s wrong with the world and each other, it’s all so much. There are other options besides verbal fist fights on the Internet over what we believe about the world. I hear you; it’s easy to get bogged down under the weight of fear and frustration no matter what your beliefs. Yet, Jesus invites us into perfect love, which casts out ALL fear. (1 John 4:18)
If we find ourselves struggling with fear or frustration, we can:
Dig into the Word.
If we feel a little worse for wear, we can find refuge, joy, and solace in the scriptures. The Holy Spirit has this uncanny ability to speak to us through ancient texts that radically transform our thoughts, ideas, heart, and soul. It’s in the pages of the living, breathing Word that we’ll find our footing and discover the character of God. In the pages of our Bibles, we’ll discover that God, not us, holds us in His hands. We’ll discover that He’s been through some tricky circumstances before and He can certainly handle us now. We’ll discover that He is sovereign, powerful, and faithful.
Many of us say we want to learn more about what we don’t know but don’t do a thing about it. Willingness is one thing, intentional learning is another. We don’t know what we don’t know. We cannot depend on Facebook or Twitter for our education on complex topics and even more, a Biblical response to those complexities. Instead, let’s read books, listen to podcasts and audio books, and watch documentaries that provide a framework for the issues that we don’t understand. We have never arrived. We are learners. Together, we can learn to love Christ and each other. It’s far easier to understand issues we have yet to grasp when we see how they affect other people.
Share a meal with someone different than us.
Breaking bread with someone different than us is the quickest way for compassion to take root in our own heart for people with stories and experiences different than our own. For my family, we find it sacred to invite others, feed them at our table, and share our hearts and laughter. This is our opportunity to love with our smiles, a warm embrace, and a hot bowl of red Thai curry. Shauna Niequist, in her fine work, Bread and Wine, honestly shares, “The heart of hospitality is about creating space for someone to feel seen and heard and loved. It’s about declaring your table a safe zone, a place of warmth and nourishment.”
No matter where you or I stand on current matters, it’s easy to demonize what we don’t know. In doing so, we side with the accuser. If we find ourselves making an enemy out of someone, let’s hit our knees and pray. Let’s pray for compassion, kindness, healing and redemption for ourselves and for those we circle in prayer. We will grow more like Christ in his presence. We can look to the Lord and his strength; we can seek his face always. (1 Chronicles 16:11)
Remember, we don’t need to defend God. He will not be shaken. Let us represent Him in love.