It’s Veteran’s Day. The day we remember those who fight for our freedoms. There are most certainly things worth fighting for and I’m thankful for those (friends and family members) who are willing to sacrifice even their own lives for my freedom. We are a nation indebted to those who’ve gone before us. We honor those who defend our ability to pursue happiness, liberty and life.
We are a nation in need of reminders of what matters most. And it starts with reminding myself! If Facebook is any indication of real life (which it is probably more a parody or an exaggeration than real life … I hope) then we do indeed live in a society of easily offended people. From mommy wars to Star Wars, from car seats to coffee snobs, from public nursing to petty neighbors, from politicians to preachers, we all have our opinions and our offenses. We rant and rage and rebuke. Some of us keep our anger to ourselves while others make it public. But we all have our moments of grumbling and rumbling about the habits of the people that make up our world.
It is not that we haven’t felt strongly about these things in the past, it is just that now everyone has a forum in which to speak. In times past, we did not announce in the streets what we thought about every little thing, exposing ourselves to an onslaught of opinions and critiques about our ideas or positions. Without the means to make it public, we stewed more privately. And others had no idea what we thought, nor had a way of fighting back with a quick response.
I’m not sure that we are necessarily a less gentler, kinder bunch than the generations before us, but we are a more exposed bunch. For most of us, being able to share something via writing has been easier than saying it face to face. So with instant access to people everywhere, and a confidence that some will agree with us, many have taken personal thoughts to the public … through writing.
I, for one, have benefited from much of what others have written through blogs, e-articles, tweets and FB posts. I usually avoid reading those who write in a way that is offensive to me, but I will often “like” or share what has been written by those who express my thoughts in a profound and polite way.
Reading and pondering the thoughts/reasoning of others is not a recent habit for me. It is, however, more recent (in the last several years) to have opportunity to pass on that information with others so quickly. At the click of a button I am able to spread across social networking my passion for something – and it goes from Washington to Florida in mere seconds!
After the latest FB “war” – the one that started with a (possibly) misguided man who was pitted against the public outcry of thousands who were then judged by the silent proud who watched from a distance – I decided something about myself: I’m offended at the offense taken by the offended. What?!?
Yep, and I recognize that it is ridiculous. It’s ridiculous to be this engaged (mind and mouth) in the endless chatter and comparison and conflict. So, I resign.
And I repent.
In the past few days, I’ve experienced a little revival of soul. I’m resigning from the social jury. I’m repenting of sitting on the bench of social judgment. I am very aware that the Spirit of God would like more room to invade my inner being. I want to choose to meditate more on His thoughts that are clearly spoken in His word. I want to choose forgiveness. I want to choose kindness. I want to choose deference.
I am not the final word, for goodness sake!
The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; He frustrates the plans of the peoples.
The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of His heart to all generations.
The Lord looks down from heaven; He sees all the children of man; from where He sits enthroned He looks out on all the inhabitants of the earth, He who fashions the hearts of them all and observes all their deeds.
The LORD sits enthroned as King forever.
Ah! The Lord God does not need to be defended by me (Job 38-42). And I do not need to be offended at others on His behalf. What I do need is His presence and power …
Lord, I need You.
Oh I need You.
Every hour I need You.
My one defense, YOU’RE my righteousness.
Oh, Lord, how I need You.