Monday, February 17, 2020

When the Truth Hurts



Back in the day, I used to frequent 'Christian-themed' discussion forums on the Internet.

Discussion forums used to be quite popular. Today, not so much. Even so, it seems like there is no shortage of people sharing their thoughts, whenever and wherever there is a format that allows people to comment on a topic. It might be via a Social Media website or perhaps the comments section of a blog, news article, or something similar.

I have a Twitter account (@imperfectfollo1), mainly to share the content on this website. So naturally, I seek to follow those on Twitter that I see espousing faith in Christ. If they are also in recovery and are practicing the spiritual principles of the suggested 12-Step program of recovery, all the better!

Twitter will make suggestions about people to follow using an algorithm based on your profile and other various factors. I've never found algorithms to be very accurate and trustworthy (especially in apps like Grammarly).  Even so, they can give you a sense of direction, much like a magnetic compass.

"Everything you say should be kind and well thought out,
so that you know how to answer everyone."
Colossians 4:6

If you are at all like me, when you interact via Social Media (which, to me, is a misnomer or an oxymoron, much like 'civil war'), you strive to maintain a spirit of humility and love. Unfortunately, there are times when no matter what I say, it isn't always received in the same spirit with which it was shared.

I believe part of the reason for that is because text-only communication is extremely limited. The people I'm reaching out to cannot see my facial expressions, look into my eyes, or hear the tone of my voice. All of which can and do communicate so much more than words alone. Sometimes we are very passionate about the topic. Even in person, some people may mistake our passion as being critical, argumentative, or even judgmental. With video, one can see and hear the person, but the ability to communicate conversationally is still lacking.

There are times, however, when the plain and simple truth hits us straight on. No matter who says what, whether in person or over the Internet, the truth hurts. The Spirit of God has pricked our conscience and we don't like that feeling.

What is our natural inclination when we are stung by the truth? We strike out! We strike back! we accuse the other person of being judgmental or hypocritical. We take it as a personal attack. We become indignant  and think, "How dare they!"

It's our nature. Our human nature

Christ Jesus was crucified on a cross for openly and repeatedly speaking the God's honest truth. The people who heard him speak were so angry at him for pointing out how they were living and how far they were from God, that they repeatedly sought a way to permanently silence him. Eventually, they succeeded!

Are we really any different today? Sure, we like to think we are. We love to say that we live in an enlightened age because we know and understand what the people failed to grasp back in Jesus' day. We tell ourselves that here in the 21st Century we are tolerant, forgiving, understanding and compassionate. Today we practice love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. We have crucified our sinful nature with all its passions and desires. We have laid our 'character defects' at the foot of the cross. Right?

Each day we set aside our will in favor of God's will for us. Each day we take up our cross... and beat it over the head of the first jerk that doesn't agree with us!

Right?