Pennsylvania is in its early steps of entering into its re-opening phase. I could not be more excited to see our community moving forward! And let’s be honest, enduring the COVID–19 pandemic has not been a time many have enjoyed, or dare I say it has barely been tolerated. I believe that this season has been stressful for every person in our state, and stress tends to draw out the worst from within our hearts. Nobody asked for this virus, yet we have to trust that God knows what he is doing during this time. If our faith is truly in God during this time then shouldn’t our words and actions reflect this too? We have to ask ourselves, “Is my response as a Christian leaving others with the desire to know more of Christ?”
One of the most devastating moments I have observed throughout this pandemic is the hatred that Christians have spoken of others. We justify it because of a difference in how we believe we would act instead of those who are given authority. I’m not saying that we cannot have our opinions and perspectives on the situation. What I am saying is that as Christians, we bear witness to Christ through all things we do. Why would a person who does not yet know the hope we have in Christ choose to follow him if we’re sharing posts that tear down others in ways that do anything but honor Christ and the life we claim to live?
Is there a way to disagree while being wise? Absolutely. Is that how many “Christ-followers” I see on social media are behaving? Absolutely not.
Proverbs 25:11 NASB
“Like apples of gold in settings of silver
is a word spoken in right circumstances.”
Now I recognize that to many, now is the “right circumstance.” It may be. It may not be. What I do know is that even if it is the right circumstance, our words and actions must still be surrounded in wisdom and covered in a spirit that points to Jesus.
Ephesians 4:29 NIV
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”
Our words must be wholesome, build others up, and simultaneously benefit those who listen. When we speak without filtering our thoughts through Christ, we fall to a place where we let our sinful nature speak first and pray that God will clean up any mess it may create.
My prayer is for us to use restraint before we speak. As representatives of Christ, we must filter our lives through His Word.
Proverbs 17:27–28 NIV
“The one who has knowledge uses words with restraint, and whoever has understanding is even tempered.
Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues.”
Church, what better time than now do we have to point to the hope we have in Christ, yet we spend our time pointing fingers at billionaires and those who were fairly appointed into leadership with conspiracy theories? I, for one, find this to be our time to share the love of Christ in a new way, and that way does not include tearing others down to get there.
Let us seek your wisdom in each moment of this unknown season in our lives. Let our words, writings, and actions, continually point others to you.