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Despite Opinions

I could honestly start this post with a hundred or more different openings but, though I would love to use any of them, I will stick to one.

We have all heard it, be it from a friend or family member, pastor or counselor, or that one person that is so quick to tell you that you shouldn’t post emotional things on Social Media because it’s a cry for attention; while their post is just that (angry, and done in hopes that a lot of people will see it) etc. Those famous words, “Stop posting negative things on Facebook!” or “They’re just doing that for attention..” and of course, “if you were really hurting, you wouldn’t post it out there.. you’d go get help..”

The simple truth is, with a platform like social media you are going to see posts like that, and maybe even make a few of your own. Though it can be annoying at times, that is not the issue I am having, rather I am more concerned with why we have made such a habit of condemning people for openly feeling something; whether it is for attention or not! Especially as children of God, who are supposed to uplift the brokenhearted and tend to the weak, love the unlovable, and comfort those in pain.

Let’s be real for a minute, that IS exactly what we are told, commanded by our heavenly Father, to do! Still we tend to look at it as an annoyance, something else to make us dread looking at the wall we know we are going to keep scrolling through regardless, and end up an emotional mess ourselves because we get upset with seeing it..

I’ll say this once. Stop it!

We should not be condemning anyone for what they share, or feel. We shouldn’t be condemning anyone anyway, for any reason! We are called to a life above that, better that, one that loves and doesn’t put down!

We don’t have to like it! Not by any means! We do, however, have to be willing to set aside our own opinions for a second and learn to have some compassion! I know, I know.. that’s just really hard to do because it’s “sooooo annoying..” It shouldn’t be! It shouldn’t be hard to do, regardless of how annoying it is!

I mean, come on! Jesus Christ didn’t like it when people complained, but He would never have approached them in the way that we tend to.. “But this is a different time, Josh. Things have changed.” Jesus Christ hasn’t changed! He is “the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.” (HEBREWS 13:8) He, Who is the same yesterday, today, and for ever, told you and I to “Love your neighbor as yourself,” and to “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ,” and that we should do so not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” (MARK 12:31/GALATIANS 6:2/ PHILIPPIANS 2:4)

We have accepted the cultural norm so much, that we even “love” the way the world does, even to the point of saying to them that we are openly speaking against their “cry for attention” because we care for them.. Foolishness! If we cared for them, we would first offer to help them through whatever is burdening them, despite our own opinions of it!!

Or do we think that Christ was overjoyed when the disciples showed little faith? He often had to call them out on it, yet He remained an ever present help to them despite disagreeing with their sometimes seemingly faithless actions and words! Do we think that Christ was pleased with everyone He came into contact with? He certainly was not! There were many times that He had to speak against, call out, or cast down the religious leaders and the very people who beat and crucified Him, yet He forgave them on the cross; even telling us that ” if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” (MATTHEW 6:15)

My point? Maybe they haven’t sinned against you by posting it, even though it is “annoying,” but we certainly sin against them when we speak negatively of them for it! We love them when we approach them with a willingness to help! If, indeed, they are only doing it for attention, move along! Don’t say anything, or get annoyed, or judge them! If it upsets you, so be it, but “Be angry, and do not sin,’ do not let the sun go down on your wrath,”  (EPHESIANS 4:26)

Just. Move. Along.

The truth is that we will all, at one point or another be brokenhearted, hurt, stressed, burdened, or anxious about something! We may not all post it on social media, we may not even go to anyone about it, but that’s on us! Christ gave us community in the body for a reason other than having someone to sit next to on Sunday and Wednesday! He also told us to love, without condition, and to not gossip or slander; things we openly make a fine mess of when we put someone down for posting their feelings openly, or any reason for that matter! Whether it is for attention or not isn’t the point, loving your neighbor is. Bottom line!

To be honest, there is a part of me that would love nothing more than to share my burden with someone and to be able to say how I’m feeling; in truth I would love to do that. It would not, however, come without some sort negative or condemning reaction.. Yet, I see no one lending an ear to hear, a shoulder to help carry it, or a heart to help mend it. It is sad that we condemn others for openly sharing their feelings on the only place that anyone will see it, when they often have to because no one is there listening. We should be reevaluating ourselves, not shaming them for openly sharing their trouble! A cry for attention is still a cry for help!

It may not be for that particular thing, but it is a cry for help in something! We should be tending to that, not chopping away at them for it like a gang of crazed zealots eager to publicly crucify people because they had a feeling and posted it on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter; regardless of what we think, or what the rest of society thinks! Jesus Christ said to “love your neighbor as yourself!” How often do you get upset, and rant about yourself for posting things somewhere? I’m going to guess not too often. Then we shouldn’t do it to anyone else, no matter our excuse! 

I apologize if that sounded a bit brash, but come on! It takes a lot, setting aside my own opinions here, to be able to openly share what you’re feeling in front of hundreds and even thousands of people; even more so to do it when you know that 99.9 percent of them are going to think badly of you for it! So, to be honest, we should care a lot less about how it may look, and a lot more about how to fix it! They didn’t post it because they like it when people think badly about them! If they did it out of pity, then there is a reason they feel they need pity; help them with it! Don’t pity them, but for the love of God that is supposed to rest in you, do it because He said to!

Concerning our own opinions of it, He also said, “trust in the Lord with all of your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding (intelligence)” and that we shouldn’t “copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.” (PROVERBS 3:5/ ROMANS 12:2) Don’t lean on your own intelligence, your own opinions, your own thoughts, but trust in His! Do not act, think, speak, react (or overreact), or even approach others the way that the world does; let Him change the way that you think, because He has died to renew you and teach you to think, act, react, and speak more like Him!

We get so bent out of shape when people do that, but then we don’t realize that we are in fact the worse off for reacting to it the way that we do because our God actually died to bring out of that and into His ways! We’re living in things that we’re dead to, and they’re at least able to acknowledge that they’re being burdened by something and want to escape it! What better time to show them the life, the love and the joy that our Savior has given them?!

Instead, we treat them as a leper, and make them into a pariah because we “don’t want to be around people like that,” when that was the very people He came to save! “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” (MARK 2:17) an furthermore, He told us to Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give,” and again, to “bear one another’s burdens,” because “the Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” and if He is, we should be!!! (MARK 2:17/MATTHEW 10:8/GALATIANS 6:2/PSALM 34:8)

Love, and “God is love,” (1 JOHN 4:8) does not react in the way that we so often do! I say “so often,” in reality it is the way we react every single time! No! Love is perfect! It “bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” (1 CORINTHIANS 13:7)

In fact, Christ would be the first to go to those people and offer them salvation from what has them bound! Of course some will say, “It’s different because they didn’t have social media back then!” Actually, yes they did; not in the same sense that we do, but it remains the same principle. Instead of posting it on a wall, the would stand in the streets and cry out what was troubling them; actually, literally cry it out for everyone to hear! Lepers had to verbally, and loudly announce that they were unclean so that everyone could hear! The paralytic openly, loudly, cried out what ailed them as they begged for alms. The afflicted, whether physical or emotional affliction most assuredly made a public spectacle of it!

They did so because they hoped that someone would help them!! Did the priests help them? No. Did the people who attended the temple help them? No. Did those who passed them by help them? No. Did their friends, or family help them? No. In fact, most of the time these people were cast out, especially lepers, and were not allowed to see the priests, attend the temple, or even go home to their family and friends.

BUT, praise the Father, there was One Who stopped to help! The was One Who welcomed them with opened arms! There was One Who accepted them, when all others had cast them out! There was One Who loved them! There was One Who, when everyone was else was complaining because they were screaming their troubles openly for everyone to hear and complaining about how it was “soooooo” annoying, reached out His hand did the exact opposite of what all of those people thought He should! One Who stepped between those who were hurting and those who openly shamed them, and became an Advocate, an Intercessor! There was, there is, and there always will be One Who taught us to live that very same way and His name is Jesus Christ; Yeshua Hamashiach!

In the end, people will do what they do, and there may be those who disagree with me or even speak ill of me for saying this; I have even had to set aside my opinions, and I seek no gratification or reward for this, but I will not stand for it. I don’t really care what anyone thinks of me. My God is more important to me than the opinions of others, His truth and His commands are more important to me than my own opinions, and I will not keep standing by statements or reactions that are absent of love and full of self gratification (the “I’m better than they are because I don’t do that” mentality) and bitterness!

Enough! We are the children of God and we are called to more! We are called to love! All of us! Each and every one of us, not some of us! You can say what you want, or think what you want about callings, but regardless of what you, me, or anyone else thinks, that is one thing that we are all demanded to do; we will answer for the lack of it or be rewarded for the act of it!

It’s time that we start acting like the children of God that we claim to be! Time to stop sitting on our couch complaining about the world and how bad it is, while contributing to it by acting the same way they do! Time to stop praying for change and not doing anything to create it! Time to stop opening our mouths to slander others, and start opening our hearts to help them! Time to set aside our own opinions, thoughts, desires, and ways and start looking to God’s; which are what we are born again into!

It does no one any good to be so bitter toward others all of the time, but especially not us! The children of God are commanded to love others, not to speak or think badly of them! We are called to uplift, not to gossip! We are commanded to help, not to hinder! We are commanded to stop treating others poorly and to start treating them with the same love that He showed us, and let’s be honest we didn’t deserve it either; that is a gift from Him, and He gave us that worth freely! So, like He said; freely you have received it, freely give it!

It’s my hope that you can see the truth in this, despite opinions or thoughts, and see that He has called us to so much more; not some of us, all of us! He has made us new, born again into a love that goes well beyond that of the world and is entirely absent of self!

Pray on this, study on it, seek it! Ask Holy Spirit to give you understanding, because it is His truth and His command, not just my opinion!

I love all of you and I pray you have a blessed night! God bless!

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