Our Opinions, Social Media, what 2020 showed us, and an Apology.

I just went down a rabbit hole. I spent the last hour looking through my facebook posts to see what I said last year that would cause friends to “unfriend” me. I mean… I did get a hair political for a moment… before and during the election. Everyone got all sideways. A few friends and I argued back and forth till I wanted to just scream, and friends that I had never had even an uncomfortable conversation with were jumping on the comments voicing such intensely opposing views that I was shocked to learn just how differently we saw things. The fact that I had friends I had known for years and had only scratched the surface with, that we never went deep enough in our relationships to discover one another’s beliefs organically, was troubling. I felt shocked and a little uncertain about what it all meant about the authenticity our my relationships, and it made me feel very unsafe and insecure in my connections with people. 2020 did a number on us in so many ways.

I’m having a hard time leaving all those relationships ragged and broken. I’m going to go back and do a little social media connection repair… and then I’m only going to post things that promote loving one another. It doesn’t do any good to be divisive, argue or debate on these platforms. Snarky political statements don’t do anyone any good. I’m making a commitment to promoting love – finding love – defining love – living love. It’s the only thing that matters.  Sometimes we get confused and think that proving we are right is what matters.

We fight, push and pull against one another to prove that we are right, that we are justified, that we are in the clear and not to be blamed. The truth is, we are afraid – of so many things the list is too long to write. But there is no fear in Love. So our best hope is to learn to know Love. 

I’m sorry for the hard line I have drawn over things that do not matter at the end of the day. I’m sorry that there are friends that felt they needed to drop or block me because of what I was saying. I’m sorry that the impression I gave was one of superiority or ego over other people’s hearts. Hearts matter most – period. Love is the only thing that matters – it matters more than what we think is right or wrong or social justice or our perceived liberty and what we think that should look like. Because our ideas about how those things work will always vary. We will never see any one issue exactly the same way as another person. Our opinions – well, they are just that – opinion, and we must ask ourselves if making our opinion known is more important than someone’s heart. How do we share what we truly believe and Love others simultaneously? We have to ask ourselves what is more important and be willing to be honest – really gut honest with ourselves about it.

I’ve never cared about politics. Never. I never joined the conversations or took a side or drew lines or gave a crap. Until this year. And then I did. I had lots of opinions and thoughts and was very open about sharing all of my thoughts, and the thoughts of others that sounded good and right to me. Now I remember why I stayed away. 

Politics never saved anybody. 

Politics is not my arena. 

Any time things turn “political” in the realm of heart, mission or ministry, that commonly means we lost the point of what we were after in the first place. We lost sight of Love and it became about ego and power and gain. And people get hurt.

So many people have gotten hurt and drawn hard lines against one another, and relationships and love has been broken and lost. I’m so deeply sorry for my part in that. 

Love bears all things, hopes all things, and never fails. But we have failed one another – I have failed the people I said I cared for. 

Mercy says, today is new! Today you get another dose for what ails ya!

What has been ailing me lately is fear and hopelessness, loss of connection and the feeling that things are out of control. And when I ask myself why I’m feeling that way there is only one answer. Because I got my eyes off of Love. That doesn’t mean I backslid or turned away from God or lost my faith. It means I got distracted from the point. I let things get “political” in my own life and lost sight of compassion, and I fooled myself into believing that social media had ANY ability to portray compassion in the midst of political debate or the process of firing comments back and forth from behind the safety of our computer screens.

Love is not weak, codependent, wishy-washy or hypocritical. Love does not require us to placate temper tantrums or those fighting for control. Love does not tell us to be doormats or martyrs to other’s opinions or control. Is it right to say what we think and how we feel about an issue? Yes. 100%. But Love will never allow voicing of our opinions to be more important than caring for hearts.

I believe that it is important to know what we believe, (about God, ourselves and others) to be clear on what our opinions are and what things we deem as non-negotiable in our lives. It is important to understand ourselves so we can be honest about our motivations and desires, connect with others authentically about those things, and to know how to hold them loosely enough to keep bringing them before God to be tested.

Yes, our beliefs and opinions need to continually be weighed and tested, but not against other’s opinions and beliefs, but by Love. 

How do we know Love? How does our understanding of what Love IS, not fall under the category of opinion and lose it’s power and truth?

I think these are hard questions that need to be grappled with. Even in the quest to know Love, we can all have as many different starting points as there are people, and we can disagree as violently over what Love is and is not as we can over who we think the President should be. This feels overwhelming and disheartening to me if I am really honest. But I know that when we are chasing after Love, when we are truly seeking, asking and knocking to understand how to operate and live IN Love, we will find it. We will find Love Himself.

I think I Corinthians is a great place to start in our evaluation of wether we understand what Love is, and wether we are living in Love or not. Let’s start there…

The Passion Translation

Love is large and incredibly patient. Love is gentle and consistently kind to all. It refuses to be jealous when blessing comes to someone else. Love does not brag about one’s achievements nor inflate its own importance. Love does not traffic in shame and disrespect, nor selfishly seek its own honor. Love is not easily irritated or quick to take offense. Love joyfully celebrates honesty and finds no delight in what is wrong. Love is a safe place of shelter, for it never stops believing the best for others. Love never takes failure as defeat, for it never gives up.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Until next time, my friends, let’s never give up our pursuit of knowing and living in Love. 

4 Replies to “Our Opinions, Social Media, what 2020 showed us, and an Apology.”

  1. I think politics is important, worth discussing, and it can (and does) change lives whether we choose to engage with it or ignore it.

    However, I think the manner in which we discuss politics (and indeed politics itself) has become ever more polarised, entrenched and unthinking, both in the UK and US in particular.

    Social media reduces complex, multi-faceted issues to sound bites, keyboard warrior fury and snarky statements, which do no good to anyone.

    Learning how to compromise, how to disagree without falling out and how to act in genuine love towards those who don’t share our world view is so important.

    I know I’ve been very guilty of getting involved in unhelpful Twitter spats and Instagram arguments, and it always leaves me feeling frustrated, angry and empty. Very often neither side is interested in listening and just wants to put their view and shout more loudly than the other person in the conversation. It’s completely pointless when you have that mindset.

    I am trying to be more mindful about how I interact online- I don’t always succeed, but I know the fewer of these negative interactions I have, the better I feel.

    Like

    1. I feel the same Graham. Thank you for your comment. I think the best we can do includes being mindful, authentic and honest which can be so hard when we feel pricked by what someone has said. I do think politics are important – and I want to learn how to engage without losing myself (read: my mind). I believe learning to live IN Love will make it possible to not check out, AND not tear one another apart. Social media absolutely complicates that. I feel humbled by the prospect.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I like to remind people that Jesus was born into a nation that had an evil king, and the whole nation was also under the iron boot of an evil empire. Didn’t say much at all about that, did He?
    Followers even tried to take Him by force to make Him king.
    They were missing the King and His Kingdom, weren’t they?
    As citizens of heaven, we seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness.
    Everything else will fall in line.
    Good article Sallie.

    Like

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