Eat the Meat and Spit Out the Bones
I am SO tired of all the name calling and verbal berating which take place on social media platforms. No one is immune to it or from it. Everyone is game to have shots taken at them, especially religious and political leadership. Since when did slander become the method of achieving fruitful change?
But test everything; hold fast to what is good. - 1 Thessalonians 5:21 ESV
Quit Choking on the Bones
Could someone please tell me which historical and/or modern Christian is without error? Who had perfect theology? Who said and did EVERYthing perfectly? Was it Luther? Was it Calvin? Billy Graham? Benny Hinn?
The reality I know and live in is that EVERY human, minus Jesus, is flawed and has some form of error operating in one's life.
And NOW we see this critical spirit operating strongly in the political divisions of our country. BOTH of the major parties are guilty of this. Having NOTHING good to say about anyone across the line of their political affiliation. What disturbs me most about the verbal berating which takes place is that I believe there are people who would honestly celebrate the deaths of others. Since when did slander and potentially celebrating someone's demise or death become noble traits of humanity???
Which political figure does each party have to point to that were flawless in their leadership and administration as President of the United States? JFK? Reagan? Obama? Trump?
Again, every human HAS error in their lives, including the ones who voice their opinions of others the loudest and the nastiest. I SO appreciate the voice of Brene Brown and what she has to say about stepping into the arena of life and all the criticism there is to expect there. One of her books, Daring Greatly, gets its' title from a famous quote by Theodore Roosevelt:
"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory or defeat."
So what am I calling for? I'm calling for a ceasefire of name calling and witch hunting and brain washing of the same degree which led to a genocide in Rwanda (in the Rwandan genocide, mass control of the media was used to verbally portray the Tutsi in Rwanda as "cockroaches which needed to be exterminated." This kind of language led to a 100 day killing spree where lawyers and doctors and teachers all picked up machetes and hacked their Tutsi neighbors to death. Merely calling someone a name or suggesting their extermination CAN LEAD to mass murder!!!!).
How do we do this? How do we NOT resort to name calling and verbal bashing when we disagree with someone else's opinion or actions? You eat the meat and spit out the bones. Take what is of value from a person (EVERY human has value) and with what you disagree with, don't eat it.
Metaphorically speaking, I am one of the FEW people who actually DOESN'T like wings. ESPECIALLY bone in wings. I know, I know. They are just too messy and there isn't enough meat to make the process of eating them worth it to me. So guess how that affects my life? I don't seek out Wingstop as the place where I eat dinner. I don't order wings at restaurants.
How does this play out religiously or politically? If there is a Christian leader whom you don't get much out of or you don't agree with then don't follow them. Don't buy their books or listen to their sermons. But DON'T go on a rampage to destroy them in the minds of others. Do you NOT trust the Holy Spirit? If you have the Holy Spirit and you are unattracted to a ministry, do you not believe the Holy Spirit in someone else can lead them to the same conclusion? Or do you trust that what the body of Christ really needs is your slander of others? I find it funny that the ones yelling slander the loudest usually aren't doing an ounce of good compared to the one they are slandering.
Politically? If there is a government leader whom you don't agree with, the Bible commands you to pray for them. And if they begin exercising their leadership in a way that goes against God's Constitution, then you are not required to obey. Look at people like Corrie Ten Boom of Holland and her family's resistance of Hitler's rule and takeover of Holland (her story can be learned from through her book, The Hiding Place, which catalogs how her family hid Jews during the holocaust).
To me, spitting out the bones doesn't involve name calling, slander, or hatred/murder. It means that I disagree with someone but I am not going to use my words to attack their intrinsic value as a human being. AND I am not going to pretend that the error in my ways (of which I have some, just like every other flawed human being) is somehow less on the scales of life than the one I am attacking.
Eat the meat (receive the good from others) and spit out the bones (respectfully disagree and don't support the one you disagree with with your money or vote, etc.)! Don't let your obituary be about how you spent your life trying to discredit someone else who spent their life actually trying to accomplish something. If you can see nothing else good in them, at least see that they chose to do something (i.e. start a ministry, run for president) and then you go and do the same. You won't have as much time to verbally berate them if you begin pursuing the same goals and achievement as them.