In my last post I talked about the danger of our own convictions becoming a "hill to die on" - becoming our "cause" - which in turn leads us to believing that everyone else should share our convictions. Romans 13 says there is danger in this. If you missed it, read that post first: When Our Conviction Becomes Our Cause
Yesterday I talked about my neighbor's posted front-door protest: WE DO NOT OBSERVE HALLOWEEN! Which was followed by an explanation of why you shouldn't either. Some things just rile us up, don't they. We go from sensing that something is not quite right for us (or for our family) to believing it is our mission in life to convince the whole world that our conviction is most certainly what God intended for the whole of humanity. And sadly, we don't know how we even arrive at that place. We just wind up there. On a corner with a poster. In a free speech area with a bullhorn. Posting a sign of protest to our front door. And as I said in my last post, our motive and intent is nowhere near being rooted or grounded in hate. But - whether we intended it or not - that's how it's coming across. And this is why we have got to begin realizing that if HOW overpowers WHAT, our message will never be heard.
99% of the time a politician gets publicly angry...and it shows...I stop listening.
When I discipline my children in anger, I wind up hurting them more than helping them.
When we post signs of protest, 99.9% of the time...NO ONE reads them!
And when we attempt to communicate the love of Christ to the world through judgment rather than love, our message is never heard. More important, HIS message is never heard! Remember that Jesus himself said, "For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him." (John 3:17) Trying to communicate a message of LOVE in a spirit of ANGER makes no sense. ZERO! Yet, people do it every day. We stop paying attention to HOW we're speaking, walking, communicating, acting, living...not realizing that the most important WHAT in the history of the world - the love and redemption of God through His Son, Jesus Christ - is being buried, covered, and smothered. Lost in translation.
And all of this hinges on another vital question: WHO are we trying to communicate with? If we're hoping our message reaches the eyes and ears of the lost, what is the message going to communicate to them? More on that later....)
Have you seen HOW overpower WHAT?
Have you been guilty of this in your own life? (I know I have.)
What steps can we take to walk and live in intentionality to share the love of God and the message and hope of Christ with others?