This world, the recent election, the personal pressure cooker we are all in of fears and family issues and job woes and daily struggle has pushed out some of our ugly, lately.
None of us want it. I hear us, we lament it. Where did that come from, we wonder to ourselves as the ugly seeps through our cracks in late night tweets and Facebook comments.
It hurts us. We hurt. We hurt each other. It all becomes a mess.
For days, maybe weeks, I’ve been holding a lot in. I would like to say I’ve been praying every moment but the truth is, I’ve not been praying enough. Last night, I needed to get off Twitter and pray. But I didn’t. This was my great judgment lapse, and I dare say, where most great online judgment lapses start.
I had enough.
I responded back to a few wild generalizations tweeted about some of the best people I know doing Kingdom work. I spoke firmly, steadily and not out of turn. I refused to fight online – all good things. But I spoke up, for this has always been my bend: to honor my justice meter, fight for the underdog if need be, and yes, regrettably and far less spiritual, to be feisty and mouthy when I feel misrepresented, condescended and wronged. Flesh brings out my southside, and I didn’t even grow up on the southside. God has whispered to me on more than one occasion, Thanks, Lisa. Now how about you let me handle this thing? I’m a scrappy one, I’ll admit.
But even if I’m right. Even if they need to be put in their place. I am to be of higher mindset. We, the Jesus followers, are servants of the most high, and as we face difficult people and conversations we need to remember the message of I Thess. 4:1 to “…live in a way that pleases God.” Tweet in a way that pleases God. Facebook in a way that pleases God. Text in a way that pleases God. That is the only thing. All our right-fighting arguments pale in light of this message.
As I was tempted this morning to respond on social media even further, I was reminded of my own words in my forthcoming book, Put Your Warrior Boots On… “Flesh anger is the reaction of things done against us…holy anger is a response to things done against God.” And I was convicted in my flesh, confronted by the Holy Spirit with two questions to ask myself before I did:
1) Is this of offense to me, personally, or an offense to the Gospel?
2) Does God want to use me to speak boldly for Him in this moment or is my flesh needing to learn the discipline of Godly silence?
I want to get it right. I don’t always get it right. Jesus…the Kingdom of God and what is at stake is worth getting it right. Fighting for me can’t be in this, no matter how right I may feel.
The only way to know the answer to either question? Prayer. For discernment and wisdom. Otherwise, it’s tough to know the difference.
In this loud and ugly time on social media, these are the things God is speaking to me. Trusting they might also have some value for you.
Onward and forward. Only offended for the Gospel. We can do this, friends. We love Jesus enough.
p.s. I love you.