The fruit of the Spirit is wit, argumentation, debate, narcissism, opinions, clap backs. Against such things there is no law.
When I survey my heart, our churches, and fellow believers on social media, these things seem to be the core of the Christian way of life.
Long gone are the ways of Jesus that are outlined in Galatians 5, which I woefully misquoted just a moment ago. Instead of being loving, patient, and kind, we bicker incessantly over the most minuscule things. Instead of being self-controlled, we have to get our opinion out about everything at every moment. Man alive, I fight this in my heart (never perfectly) every day. I see something in the news, or on social media, and I just have to have a good response to it.
What has become of our witness? Is our rudeness, flippancy, and sarcasm really drawing people to Jesus (not to mention drawing them to come to a different conclusion in regard to any debate we are facilitating)?
Now, I am not saying that being vocal on Facebook or Instagram or whatever form of social media you’re on in regard to faith or even other things is detrimental to the Kingdom of God.
But the way we go about sharing these things is so crucially important.
If you scoured my social media, you’d see (I think) very little regarding hot button issues. Last Summer I got into a fit of anger and posted a vehement, unfair take on gun control. Since then, I’ve felt led by God to keep my opinions to myself, to private discussions, to gentle conversations. You’ll never see me posting about politics. Come talk to me about it, sure. But you’re not going to get a vocal, public, social media take on these things.
I honestly am proud of myself, that by God’s grace I haven’t said a word about Covid-19 policies. I’ve just said that life sucks sometimes and we can cling to Jesus.
For whatever reason, we prize the well-argued posts. I’ve seen countless Christans (including me) say things on social media that they would never say to someone’s face.
Souls are not won through social media arguments.
Souls are won by living in such a way that illuminates the kindness, gentleness, love, and patience of Jesus. Souls are won by being self-controlled. Not every debate is worth getting into. Not very conversation needs to get a response from us.
I fall into the habit of thinking that I need to vocalize my voice into every topic, every scenario, every hot button issue.
I think, “If I don’t, who will?”
Maybe, just maybe, we can let things slide.
Now, I’m on social media often. My side ministry of Roach Ramblings is social-media driven. I’m on it. But social media is ultimately not the place for the transformation of lives through argumentation.
I love the take that Jesus engaged the false teachings of the 1st century world during His life and ministry. I love that take because it misses the mark (in my opinion, which is often in fact wrong). The mission of Jesus (as shown to us in the Gospel accounts) was not to debate the religious leaders of the day or to correct heresy. Now, these arguments happened as people were stupid enough to engage God Himself in debate. But Jesus did not seek them out in a malicious, self-absorbed way. The God of the universe in human flesh did not feel the need to correct every errant belief, every errant political view (He in fact doesn’t seem to care much at all about this besides teaching submission and humility). He did not go about the countryside engaging false teachings or interpretations of the Torah.
He went about preaching the Kingdom of God. He went about healing the sick. He went about performing miracles. He wasn’t sarcastic. He wasn’t clapping back at others.
I see in us the tendency to disrespect our elders who we disagree with. Gone are the days of charitable disagreement. Rather we must now be quick to degrade, whether intentionally or unintentionally those who we disagree with.
Church, enough is enough.
Brother or sister in Christ, enough is enough.
May we live with a profound kindness. A profound gentleness. A profound self-control. May our church’s false gods of sarcasm, wit, and argumentation come down. May we again uplift the qualities of the Spirit of God in our lives and in our words, digital or otherwise.
Let me close with the real fruit of the Spirit as written down in Galatians 5.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. – Galatians 5:22-23
In His Name,
If you enjoyed this blog, please consider sharing it. Also, if you’d like to see more Roach Ramblings content, check out my Youtube page and my podcast below: