Monday, January 27, 2014

Speaking Love over Truth

I got a very interesting private message on Instagram last week. It was from someone that I don't know personally. And it was sent to a group of women, most of whom are very influential people. I was honored to be included in that group of women, so I was extra intrigued as to what the subject of the message would be.

I read it, and then I said out loud to my husband, "I just got schooled."  

The subject was pro-life advocacy. And the sender of the message was basically challenging those of us that she felt had a voice of influence on this topic as to why we had not been promoting the pro-life movement that week: a week that included Pro-Life Sunday, the March for Life, and the 41st anniversary of Roe v. Wade. 

It felt a little bizarre for someone that I don't have a personal relationship with to be telling me that I should take a stance on such a controversial topic. Not because I'm afraid to take a stance. I am pro-life without apology. I can't really imagine an adoption advocate not being pro-life. But because there could be a million reasons {including that I may have just had a rough week... which I did} as to why I wouldn't have posted something on this subject matter, and without knowing me this girl just assumed that I didn't care enough about the issue. 

I thought about her message and this issue a lot, and these are the conclusions I have come to:

1. There are a lot of noble and important platforms to be addressed in this world, but not everyone is called to address every platform. 

I may have strong opinions about a lot of things: the right to life, universal healthcare, public education, providing infrastructure to third world countries... but currently God has called me to one public platform: infertility and adoption advocacy. That is where I have been called to speak up. That is where he has asked me to use my voice, my time, and my talents. It doesn't mean that I don't care enough about any of the other issues, I just care about them more privately. 

2. "Knowing" someone on social media is not the same as knowing them in real life. 

Don't get me wrong. I love social media. I love my friends that I have met through social media. Many of them have become my real life friends, but only through connection, interaction, exchanging phone numbers, and talking and meeting in REAL LIFE.  On Instagram you see a snippet of someone's life, and while I work very hard to be authentic and genuine on social media, it's still just a snippet of me. I would hope that you would not make strong conclusions about myself or my life based on what you see in my Instagram feed. 

3. {And most importantly} Social media is not the proper forum for affecting change on controversial social topics.  

I don't believe that me posting an Instagram message about protecting life is going to make a woman that was considering abortion change her mind. It's just not. That kind of change requires personal relationship. In my opinion, people are not going to stop being gay, cancel an abortion, or decide to vaccinate their children because of something that they see on an Instagram post. 

You are more likely to alienate people, cause defenses to go up, and just generally tick people off than to change their stance on a hot topic. 

You know how real change happens?  By having relationships. And the most life-changing relationship possible is the one that you can have with your Savior. 

So if we want to affect REAL, LASTING change on any topic, the best place to start is to encourage a relationship with Christ. And the best way to do that is to first of all have a good relationship with your Christ yourself. The more we know about Christ, the more we will want to be like Him. And the more Christ-like we become, the more loving and less judgmental we become. 

I do believe that there is one truth, one God, and one road to salvation. But I also believe that showing love is the best way to reveal truth. 

If you want to be a magnetic, influential person, show love.
Extend grace.
Have compassion.
Love the hurting.
Give to the needy.
Be authentic. 

Christ came into this world to love, He didn't come here to judge. He hung out with the misfits... the prostitutes, the tax collectors, the lepers... he showed them love and that changed their lives. You know who are the only people that Christ showed judgment on?  The religious leaders. The hypocrites. The ones who wore the scriptures on their heads, but didn't live them out. 

I DON'T want to be a person that is known for being pro-life, or anti-Obama, or pro-public education... I want to be a person that is known for showing love. I want to be passionate about showing others the unconditional love that Christ shows us everyday. I want people to see me and find grace. 

So if you don't see me taking a big stand on something that you would expect me to be passionate about, know that it is not due to lack of passion. It is due to a stronger desire to love. 

*UPDATE* I wanted to clarify that the gal that sent me the message on IG almost immediately apologized for sending that message to people she didn't know and possibly sounding harsh or pushy. And I did not mean for this post to sound like an admonishment of her. We actually had a lovely discussion that was done in love and grace, and that I very much enjoyed. These were just the thoughts that I took away from the conversation that she sparked. 

2 comments:

  1. I love point #3. I wish more people could get that. Social media is not the place to argue with someone about their choices or passion or what they had for dinner. If you don't know someone we'll enough to talk to them in love, in person, then it shouldn't be said over a computer screen. I think I'm going to bookmark this post so I can come back and read it when I need a reminder! Thanks.

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