Slightly Obsessed #101 "God Doesn't Need Our Opinions" by Pamela Thorson on 2015-02-25 10:00:06
“Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls; and he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.” - Romans 14:4 NASB
“You want the strings so you can
Pull at my soul and tear me down.” - from “Marionette” by Flyleaf
They are legion. Opinions on every imaginable subject multiply daily in the primal soup we call the Internet. Cloaked in the mantle of free speech and safely walled off from real life, WHAT I THINK emerges from the muck of an uninhibited stream of consciousness. It is crowned in the soft glow of the computer screen, and it feeds the narcissism that runs rampant through our society.
The ability to hurt or encourage others with our words is a powerful feeling. This is never more evident than on social media sites like Facebook. It’s fun to post things that make us laugh or stir our spirits. It’s great to reconnect with old friends and make new ones.
But why do we think the world needs our opinions? Why is it okay to make loud and rude comments online that we would never make to a person’s face? Here, it seems, anonymity emboldens us and breeds a strange contempt for others.
The coveted “Like” button has grown from the benevolent click of agreement into a scepter bestowing approval or sentencing a post to an obscure death. We can show our disdain for someone simply by withholding that precious moment of validation.
Conversely, we can’t help but check a few dozen times a day to see if anyone noticed our post and if the right people thought it was okay. We subconsciously gauge our sense of self-worth and even our relationships by our status on social media.
If we’re honest, it boils down to one word: control. We “like” control. We don’t like feeling vulnerable or as if we’re being instructed. We instinctively compare ourselves to others and sometimes feel the dirty, secret need to see successful people fall flat on their faces.
We expect this stuff in the world. How it must hurt God’s heart to see Christians acting this way.
As with all our other social interactions, our online speech should be covered in grace. Our words should bring life to others. God works best through us when we follow in the steps of Christ, who was “full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14). Truth is centered in God’s Word. Grace is the outflow of His unconditional favor to an undeserving heart.
God doesn’t need us to straighten people out. He wants our obedience to His Word, measured out with heaping servings of a generous spirit.
When you fire up the Internet today, breathe a prayer for those you will meet. Be discerning. Be kind. Be full of grace and truth.
“Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.” - Colossians 4:6
About Pamela Thorson:
Pamela Thorson is a licensed practical nurse, author, and full-time caregiver. She pioneered in the homeschooling movement from 1982-2006 and authored her first book, Song in the Night, in 2008. Her second book, Out from the Shadows: 31 Devotions for the Weary Caregiver, released in 2014. She resides in the Northwest with her family.
On a recent hot July day, we took in an air show in our town. Vintage planes, including a couple of impressive old warbirds, sat majestically on the tarmac for inspection as we darted from wing to wing to find relief from the withering heat.
These planes are still operable, so although some of them were open for people to walk through, the cockpits were off-limits for obvious reasons. No one wanted a tragedy to happen because an unauthorized person tampered with the controls. People who don’t know what they’re doing shouldn’t be in control.
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The sound must have been a maddening echo that haunted him at first, tormented by the rooster’s crow that mocked his empty proclamation of loyalty. For three days, his faith lay in the grave with the Savior’s body, darkened by the memory of his public desertion.
Slightly Obsessed #188: Freedom
He was shouting “Freedom” as he plowed his car at twenty-one miles an hour into the granite monument engraved with the Ten Commandments.
A video posted on the suspect’s Facebook page depicted the man in his car facing the monument as a women’s voice, presumably on a car radio, asked, “Where do you go when you’re faced with adversity and trials and challenges?”
Slightly Obsessed #187: He Reigns
Has a more beautiful declaration ever been written? Without that truth, we would have been forever lost to life. But because God had all authority firmly in His grasp, Satan had no chance of wresting the universe from Him. Because God reigns, Jesus could heal sickness, forgive sins, and conquer death. Because God is in control, evil was outwitted. Because He is Lord, there is power behind the words, “It is finished.”
Slightly Obsessed #186: When the Path Ahead Is Fearsome
The room was dark and shadowed, the only sound within its walls the rhythmic whoosh of the ventilator beside my son’s bed. I sat on an uncomfortable chair jammed into one corner of the room. In the faint light that fell from the window across the pages of the Bible I held, I tried to corral my stampeding fears long enough to find some comfort from God’s Word. Outside the door of his room, a cacophony of voices from the nurses’ station jarred our shattered nerves.
Slightly Obsessed #185: Clean
They were just turning down the lights in the sanctuary as I awkwardly slid into a seat near the back of the church. I was tired and soiled by the previous week. Life had been especially difficult, and I had not handled the pressure well. I felt completely unhinged spiritually and wholly unworthy to be in God’s presence. The worship team began with one of my favorite songs, and I hoped I didn’t look as vulnerable as I felt.