Tag Archives: asking hard questions

Using Social Media Passive Aggressively To Veil Our True Emotions, My Foot In The Mouth Disease, or Part 2: Love is Kind

27 Jul

Love is kind.

Try it! You won’t be sorry.

It seems obvious, doesn’t it? Love is kind? Of course it is. But it’s much harder to live it out, especially when you suffer from foot-in-the-mouth disease like I so often do. Sometimes I think my emotions have more of a reign on my tongue than they ought, and I want to stop myself from blurting out something that comes straight from my frustration or texting my confusion or emailing my pain.  Instead I act before I think and in turn have to go back to the person and apologize. It’s painful. It’s humbling. I’ve had to do it a lot lately. I’m not done yet.

Love is kind.  If I love people, than why can’t I be kind?

Love is kind. Even when I don’t feel like it.

 Love is kind when I’m not.  

When I screw up, because love is kind, I know my friends won’t ever get to the point where they won’t talk to me again.  I know that apologizing for the ways in which I wasn’t kind will likely be in my future and grace will need to be given to me due to the fact that I have a short term memory about what love is.

Love is kind but not on Facebook this week. I don’t know what is going on but a bunch of people are on the rampage. I’m not sure why everyone is getting so upset.  For a place that’s supposed to be about social connection, it’s more like social destruction. People are spouting political and ideological opinions and even those I agree with are starting to get a little vocal it’s definitely starting to get old.

 

Is it ever a good idea to have a political debate on Facebook? Is it ever loving to tell people you’re “friends” with that they are totally wrong, crazy, and off-base via the cowardly veil of social media? If we really want to have a political debate and talk about the issues rather than agreeing to digital finger pointing, why not do it in person? Are we too lazy to be kind?

It’s not kind to hate people, but it may be easier than loving them.

 

No where in 1 Corinthians does it say “Love is easy. It’s painless. It’s going to make you feel good all of the time. Most of the time when you love, you’re going to think that it’s so simple and fabulous that you’ll want to do it all of the time. Love is the road more traveled. It’s what everyone chooses all of the time.” Um, no. I wish it said that sometimes but it doesn’t. Kindness comes with a price.

People sometimes think I’m crazy when I say that loving people is harder than hating them. I think it’s easy to shift blame, let anger sit until it becomes bitterness, displace it, and let it grow until it manifests itself into  full-fledged yelling and pictures of your support or boycott of a fast food restaurant on your Facebook page. Or maybe it looks like a smear campaign of your least favorite political candidate. Or name calling. Or something worse.

But getting back to the point of this…love is supposed to be kind. I know I haven’t been as kind as I want to be this week. I’ve shifted blame, gotten mad, let my anger boil over into words I didn’t mean, passive aggressiveness, conversations I knew should not be had via phone, Facebook, texting, etc.

But guess what? Love is STILL kind.  Do you know how I know this? Because of stories like this where victims of tragedies can forgive people who tried to kill them.

I might not always be kind, but I’m so thankful that Love is.  And I’m thankful that God,  the lover of our souls, our creator and our sustainer invented love and kindness.

Proverbs 18:21 in The Message says: Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit – you choose.

Can we just remember that before we say something we don’t mean, post our opinion and broadcast it to 500 of our friends, get angry without realizing the deeper emotion behind it?

Are you hurting? Do you feel unheard? Are you lonely, bored, angry, tired, or hungry? I actually started asking myself these questions lately before I react and it’s helped. So I think twice more than I used to before reacting. And in moments I don’t, there is grace.

Thank God, there is grace.

Asking The Hardest Questions Of My Life…

18 Apr

We have this magnetic pull when we are in new relationships that keeps us engaged and excited about them. It almost overtakes us and suddenly most things pale in comparison. Our feelings become paramount and we go to what one of my friends calls “Boy Island.” (Or “Girl Island”). I’ve lost many a friend to “Boy Island.” I’ve gotten shipwrecked there myself one or two or seven times. Sometimes if we’re not careful, we become other people if we don’t set good boundaries early on in a new relationship. It can consume us and become a false god, in a sense. It’s very easy for this new wonderful thing in our lives  to become our lives. We’re filed with hope and a sense of amazement.

But, this is a critical time when we need to learn (myself included), that we mustn’t hold too tightly to a person.  Otherwise, we’ll become prone to thinking of that other person as “ours” which results in us thinking we own them and that they belong to us.  It’s common in our culture to call things “my.” After all, we have our cars, we live in our houses, we have our roommates, we walk our dogs. These things belong to us in one way, shape, or form.  But if we grab on for dear life, if we connect too deeply too quickly with someone and then we lose that person, what are we left with? I’ll tell you from experience: Heartbreak. Loss. Sadness. Tears. Emptiness. Vapor.

What would it look like if we did things a little differently? What would it look like if we thought enough of ourselves to BE ourselves in relationships? What if we didn’t hide from vulnerability? Or if our problem is over sharing to the point of “too much information”, how would it be if we held back and didn’t dump on someone all the time? What can we do to ensure that we date in a healthy way? How do we honor God in that? If we break up, how do we have a good goodbye? How do we co-exist together and still move on if we both share the same group of friends? How do we grieve well? What do we do with the “Whys” of why it didn’t work? How do we not blame ourselves? How do we TRUST that this is bigger than all of us? In the messiness of relationships, how to we behave towards our friends, community, family, and those who we don’t end up marrying? Ultimately the question is: How do we love well and what does that look like? Not ten years from now, RIGHT NOW!? 

I’m currently doing a deep study of myself and my friends and community on these very issues. I’m asking hard questions. I’m wondering how to better love my friends as we walk out singleness, date, get engaged, and get married. I’m on a new adventure and I hope to use this space to write about it. I’m only speaking of the tip of the iceberg here. I’m going to be asking really hard questions. Many people will likely disagree with my answers to these questions. I’m preparing. More is coming. This is my epiphany. This is sacrificial love. This is the gospel. Or as some have called it, the REVOLUTION. And as I learned tonight in a God-confirming and powerful way, this is what love does.

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