I’ve been talking to the TV.
Typically, my one-sided conversations are in response to …
… politicians who are yelling at me – telling me what to believe.
… the cable news shows on-air talent sitting on couches telling me how I am supposed to think.
… advertisers who spend more time telling me about their drug’s side effects than the help it might offer.
I’m just tired of people yelling. People who don’t know me, telling me what to believe, think, and do. You too?
Although my little sarcastic comments and push-backs are directed at the TV, I realize that the same thing happens in life. Doesn’t it?
When someone around me starts trying to direct my beliefs, or uses strong, mean-spirited and sometimes hateful words in response to someone’s Facebook post, or pushes their agenda into how they think I should live my life, well, it just makes me want to turn the other way and disregard what they’re saying.
How they are sharing their beliefs and opinions gets in the way of the message they are trying to convey.
How they are trying to get me to listen to them shuts me down.
Do you know what I mean?
Unfortunately, we see it in Christian faith journeys too.
People who are Christ-followers type in bold capital letters, yell, shame, call people hateful names, and point fingers. We see it on television, in social media, in the blogs, and in our communities.
Lord, have mercy.
(Why would anyone want to know Christ when that’s their experience with those who know Him?)
The teacher Oswald Chambers offers a different way …
“The people who influence us most are not those who buttonhole us and talk to us, but those who live their lives like the stars in heaven and the lilies in the field, perfectly simply and unaffectedly. Those are the lives that mold us.” (From My Utmost for His Highest)
I wrote those words in the side of my Bible next to the 6th chapter of Matthew back in 2013. I turn to that page frequently, when I’m considering my own faith journey with all its messiness and many mess-ups, and how I want to show up as a Christ-follower. I’ve got a long way to go to get this right, but I know this is where my influence needs to start. The words follow.
I’m learning …
What does it mean to live perfectly simply and unaffected by the turmoil around me?
What does my life—words and behaviors—tell others about the God I love?
Am I a Christ-follower influencer?
Maybe I just start with …
Love. In word and deed.
Bring grace. To every situation.
Show up. In respectful kindness.
The words follow.
Want to join me? That would be nice.
We can do this together.