Writing anything outside of lighthearted content or a review is perpetually daunting. Despite the daily dose of pop culture, in reality, this isn’t all I am. If there’s one constant I can say has been my friend for the past 3 years or so, it’d be thoughts. My mind is cluttered with them so that they’ve taken up permanent residence and in some cases, disallow productivity. Because there they sit… and swirl… and shift. One of these things that most recently come to mind is grace. Specifically wondering where grace and kindness are.
What does grace mean to you? To me it’s to show kindness and to allow people grace even if something suggests they’re in error. In recent weeks, I’ve observed and some may say been a part of, two situations that makes me pause and sincerely wonder, where is grace?
Where is kindness?
We live in a society that actively tries to erase this. It’s trying to make culture into something no one should root for.
DISCUSSION | HOW SOCIAL MEDIA INSPIRES US TO FORGET TO BE KIND.
Both of the situations I have been watching and observing are social media situations, and because of this, my asking this may not be totally unfair. I think social media inspires humans to be terrible, and so perhaps questioning where grace is by this standard is flawed. However when I see a respected author who’s Christianity is being attacked because she wrote a book they dub as “dangerous” is a kind of feeling I cannot express. The burden of realizing there are so many people who consider their justice THE justice is sad to me. The question isn’t whether or not the book is good or “appropriate,” the reality is God can speak to people in different ways.
Maybe this story is a special part of this author’s journey. Maybe this novel was something they needed in order to draw closer to Him, and maybe through this, He uses this story to touch and affect some who read it.
A walk with God is a very personal thing. This I touched on weeks ago in an Instagram post I stand by.WHERE IS GRACE AND HUMANITY? OPINIONS ON THE SHIFT IN CULTURE #KINDESS #SOCIALMEDIA #CHRISTIANITY #BOOKS #CULTURE #POPCULTURE Click To Tweet
What I mean by this is, at the end of the day, it comes down to you and God. It comes down to God knows your intent, your heart and your mind. Those around you don’t. Some will argue that your relationship with God isn’t personal because you should share. I would argue that while yes this may be true, there is a time and place to share. Being a virtue signaler on social media and sharing things that aren’t productive, but rather unkind, is not the answer. Usually by this, I mean these are things you decided God has directed something when in reality, He hasn’t.
At the end, it will only be you and God… face to face.
When it comes to social media, I think we all would benefit from something basic. When we see a comment we disagree with, by all means, engage and have the conversation. But first, check yourself. Pause, take a moment and breathe. Assume that the comment isn’t coming from a bad place (hopefully most don’t), and respond in the way you would if you were in person. I’m all for having controversial discussions, but I also want them to be conversational. I want to disagree and still converse, not yell, be offended by everything or be dramatic. If more of us would do this, we’d have better communication and I think, understand better the idea of the human connection and friendship.
If something in art bothers or affects you, by ALL means, don’t read or watch it. This is ok. No one is asking you to go against your convictions. But through this, I’ve also realized that some of these same Christians attacking this author’s faith would say some of the same things about my lifestyle. This is jarring. I’m not apologetic because I don’t have anything to apologize or feel guilty over. I’m also a firm believer as another author has said in joining culture because without doing so, we have no hope of shifting perspectives or offering alternatives. If we don’t write or produce or create media in the culture, how can we present more traditional cultural norms that honor faith?
I appreciated reading this so very much. It’s true and accurate and honest. The world does not care if we check out. In fact, they applaud. They celebrate each time (and we do this a lot) we give in or give up. At the very least, they’re emboldened.
Christian art tends to put this pretty package, shiny bow on their art. And for some of us, that’s where they believe art should stay. I appreciate more than I can say when there’s rawness in Christian art. We need that and it’s also more honest. This still holds grace for any creator that is sincere. There’s a line in the song ‘Lord I Need You’ that says where grace is found is where You are.
Each time I listen to this, any of the DOZENS upon dozens, it hits me. If grace is part of where He is, than what does our belittling of others truly show? All I see it showing is human beings being ugly, and yes, lacking grace. Every day may we look to extend grace, and through that, find grace.
You know the usual ask – leave all of your thoughts below. Agree or disagree? What do you think about grace or the social media climate? Do you think grace and kindness co-exist? Comment all the comments, and let’s have conversation.
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