There is no escaping the fact that we humans are creatures that regularly seek validation. We love to be right, and even more, love to hear that we are. The dramatic rise of social media and its universal appeal very clearly proves this. And like any new technology it has come with some revolutionary benefits and some cautionary lessons that demand attention. So, in a very short time, we are trying to figure out what is, and what is not appropriate to say when your audience is literally the rest of the world. I think about the great minds of our civilization – Aristotle, Socrates, Aquinas, Lincoln – and what else we may have learned had they their own blog. I also immediately hear the verse from the musical, Jesus Christ Superstar, when Judas laments:
“..If you’d came today, You could have reached a whole nation, Israel in 4 B.C had no mass communication!”
So, one of the questions regularly debated on SM is when (and where) it is appropriate for God to be interjected into the conversation. “Never discuss politics or religion in polite company.” For the most part, good advice, since these two topics stir extraordinary passion, and as such, argument is highly unlikely to change the mind of any challenger regardless of your own apparently justified rationale; and, on occasion cause serious fractures in otherwise solid relationships. (Think recent election) So for the most part, I would agree that unless you are posting on a blog site that specifically is geared to these sorts of debates, trying to actively evangelize on sites like Facebook or LinkedIn may not be beneficial to your cause. Now, that said, I guess I could be accused of actually doing just that more than a couple of times. And, after reading a couple of recent objections to what would be considered someone’s ‘religious’ post on LinkedIn, my own inner desire for validation prompted me to consider why God is so much part of my social expression.
Some context: I am a Christian. I have spent a good deal of my later adult life studying, reading, and researching the subject of Christianity in order to support my now well founded personal beliefs. Some believers don’t need hard evidence, their faith is sufficient. Not me, I needed to see sufficient proof to the point of even travelling to Israel and standing on the sites where scripture took place. Once I became convinced, it allowed my faith to move me forward. And once convinced the premise of who I am, and what my purpose was completely changed. Totally.
(Warning: the following is my opinion and I am not asking you to agree.) And this monumental change I believe is what lies beneath most objections to any discussion about God. Fear of change. Fear that the God-less foundation that many of us have / had built our lives upon would be shattered and some other less-type life would need to be accepted……but I digress. Remember I’m not trying to convince anyone of anything, simply stating why I post about God. 😊
And once convinced of the voracity of the New Testament and the teachings of Jesus Christ, they became my go-to wisdom for most any situation, personal, family, relationship and business, much like the same way I would unhesitatingly recommend Dale Carnegie, Warren Buffet or Steve Jobs in areas where those individuals have demonstrated some level of wisdom. To ignore Judeo-Christian teachings in a thoughtful consideration of any subject, in my opinion, would demonstrate either plain ignorance or a denial that must be based in fear – that fear of having to admit that there actually may be something to what Jesus has to say. (A similar fear that prohibits Republicans and Democrats from ever agreeing on anything it seems, ever.) And once having opened my mind to applying the teachings of Christ to my life, there was not a situation to which I could not see their application and experience success. Not one. ‘What Would Jesus Do?’ really does work as long as we know Jesus, and are willing to accept the answer he provides.
So there it is. Why do I post about God, and in my case, Jesus Christ? Mostly because every time I read something, anything, social issue, political issue, business predicament, personal crisis, family disaster…guns, war, gender discrimination, abortion, immigration, unemployment, low wages…I truly believe I have the answer, straight from the source that created us and knows how we work best:
“Love** one another (Yes, even your enemy). As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” (**’wish them well’ is the translation that works for me.)
I believe it, knowing first that there will be plenty of people who will think me naive, simple, or ‘religious’. To those people I beg your patience and forgiveness. But I also know that there will be some, or even just one hidden in the crowd, who may be seeking their own validation in this belief wherever they can find it, FB, LinkedIn, wherever; that is until they understand that the only validation that means anything is from our heavenly Father and Creator…in my opinion.