I left off last month with the statement that when we know better we have to do better.

A month ago.

I’m still working on part two, but am going to press pause on that for now.

Last week I deactivated my Facebook account. It finally hit me that there was a direct correlation between my mood and the stuff I was reading while scrolling. It was terrible. And while I was able to quickly figure out that if I would just stay off of it my mood would improve exponentially, for reasons I still don’t know I kept logging back on. Repeatedly.

Having an addictive personality like I do, it’s all or nothing for me when it comes to stuff like this. So I deactivated the account, deleted the app from my phone, and breathed a big sigh of relief.

I had two blissful days of life without FB before realizing that it’s, well, nearly impossible to keep my social media marketing side hustles (that I really enjoy, by the way) going without having an actual account of my own.

So, I’m back.

I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with social media. I love keeping up with friends, seeing cute pics of their kids, reading a funny meme or encouraging quote or Scripture, and having the ability to market our business. I hate reading people’s views on politics and education, and all of the consequences of people sharing their opinions on politics and education – the horribly hateful remarks, sarcastic comments, and the way people are making utter fools of themselves in their determination to be “right.”

If I had a dollar for every time I furiously typed out a response to a rude comment, then deleted it, I’d have a lot of dollars.

Here’s where I really get caught up though – I’m seeing a theme here. An incessant, endless, mind-numbing theme:

Somehow, nearly overnight, we have become overrun with experts on everything. Angry experts.

Angry, intolerant experts.

I’m scrolling through, inundated by all the opinions about masks and school and Covid and masks and school and Trump and masks and school and Biden and…. well, you get it. Total chaos.

As long as we’re all more interested in being heard than we are in listening, we’re not going to get anywhere. Ever.

 This week I’ve been studying the story of Joshua leading the Israelites into Canaan. The torch had been passed from Moses to him, and the Lord gave Joshua plenty of helpful instructions, reminded him of His promises and filled him up with encouragement. He told him to be strong and courageous. Then He says something that I have been thinking about every day since I read it six days ago.

….Do not turn from it  (the book of instruction) to the right or the left, so that you will have success wherever you go.  {Joshua 1:7 }

The right. Or the left.

Did that stop you in your tracks like it did me? Are any of you thinking about political parties right now?

No matter what side of politics you fall on (and I say this with every bit of love in my heart – it does not matter to me. Like, at all.), this next election isn’t going to save any of us.

Trump isn’t going to save us. Biden isn’t either. Masks might help. They might not.

If you haven’t noticed, “mask” is a 4-letter word in my book. I’ll wear it. I won’t argue about it. If there’s a chance it might protect someone or myself, I’ll wear it. But the amount of shaming and hate getting thrown out because of them continues to blow my mind.

The only thing I feel fairly sure of is all of these current issues we’re dealing with will magically go away on November 5.

But I digress.

We have an opportunity to actually make a difference here, but if we’re spending our time fighting it out through words on Facebook, we’re wasting our time. All that does is make us look like fools.

We, as Christians, are called to be different. We are called to obey God’s Word. We are called to follow after His heart.

The old people-pleaser still buried deep inside me keeps feeling like I need to apologize every other sentence of this blog post. I don’t want to hurt your feelings, I really don’t. But I’m done writing a bunch of fluff that doesn’t matter.

And when non-fluff stuff like this is keeping me up at night, I’m now in a place where I will happily pull you into it with me.

This has to stop. We have to be different. We have to make people stop and wonder what it is about us that is so completely opposite of this world where we live.

And if we blend in with the crowd and act like jerks outside of our church walls, then what we’re doing inside of them doesn’t really matter at all.

There are people out there right now who are very much afraid. Maybe they’ve lost a loved one to Covid. Maybe they are living alone and these months spent in isolation has had an effect on them that you and I may not understand.

Here’s what I do understand: I’ve been in a house with 4 boys who I absolutely adore and love spending my days with, and these past few months have still managed to mess with me in ways I can’t even put words to yet.

Am I personally frustrated with our current circumstances? Absolutely yes. Does it feel unending? Also yes.

I can so easily get caught up in a rabbit hole of conspiracy theories and there’s no question there is some seriously sinister stuff going on out there.

However.

I’m no help to anybody if I stay in that hole.

I’ve learned enough about people to know that joining them in their fear and misery only heightens their fear and misery. That doesn’t mean we ignore it, but it does mean we share the reason for the hope we have.

So, instead of passing judgement on them for things we aren’t going to see the full consequences of for who knows how long, how about we show compassion?

How about we tell them why they don’t have to be afraid?

What if we showed love and kindness in spite of our utter frustration?

What if we told them about this Jesus who changed everything for us and can do the same for them?

What if we spend more time reading God’s Word and less time watching the news?

I have a feeling that if we can make these actions a habit we’d not only make our little corners of the world better, we’d be more at peace ourselves.

I urge you, sweet friends, take a break from it today. Take a break from it this week. Ask the Lord to show you where you need to make changes. Put your whole, 100%, complete trust in Him. Not in what some article said on FB. Not in what your governor said. Not in a decision your school board made. Not in anything else but God alone.

Let’s make sure when people hear about the church they smile, because it reminds them of someone who made a difference in their life.

Please share a verse or some words of wisdom in the comments. Let’s keep the love going, friends!