street preacher

Between the incredible progress of technology and social media inundating our lives, we now live in a world where anyone can have a voice.  The problem is that everyone uses it.  I remember Dr. Malcolm in the original Jurassic Park saying “You’re so busy asking if you could, you never stopped to ask if you should”.  That’s one of the biggest problems facing the world today, in the corporate world, the scientific community, society as a whole and each of us individually; should we.  I hate to be that guy, but “with great power comes great responsibility”.  So as I begin to use my own voice in this world, I try to remind myself of these 5 things.

***

1)  Know What and Why You Believe – In Christianity, the word is apologetics.  It simply means defending your position through the systematic use of information.  Get your story straight, do your research, and know WHY.  Don’t hide behind logical fallacies and then scream louder when someone says you are wrong.

2)  Know Why You Are Saying It – Sure, I enjoy a good rant as much as the next guy, but there is a huge difference between a commentary on life and a callous, thoughtless hissy fit.  If your reason for saying it is not to bring about change, not to help someone, not to de-stress a situation, then why?  As the saying goes, if you can’t say nothing nice, as least make it funny.

3) Remember You Are Dealing With Humans – In a past post, I dreamed up the “Say It To My Face” Law, which was my way of “gently” hinting at the fact that just because you are typing on a keyboard or talking into a microphone doesn’t mean you are no longer dealing with real people.  Freedom of speech is not a license to say whatever you want.  Good conscious says to be human.

4)  Attack the Problem, Not the Person – Oh marriage counseling, look at you being relevant.  This especially goes for religious folk.  Love the sinner, hate the sin.  It’s not coincidence that Love comes first.  You will never reach somebody and compel them to change until you are willing to stand beside them and help them face their problems…as equals.  This whole hierarchy of evil is a charade, so that everyone from the baptist preacher to the teenager on Facebook can feel better about themselves by saying “well, at least I’m not as bad as that guy”.

5) Actions Speak Louder Than Words This goes well beyond “don’t talk the talk, if you can’t walk the walk”.  Lee Strobel in his book The Case For Faith talks in the first chapter about how to approach someone who is suffering.  None of us can ever know the extent to which those around us may be suffering.  Being a friend, being there for someone, quietly being with them in their pain is much more powerful than any trite words we can throw together.  When Jesus faced a woman caught in adultery, He did not condemn her.  Some people don’t need to be told they are wrong: they know.  They need someone to help them.  And sometimes when we are in pain, we just need someone there.

Advertisements