I have spent the past time away from contributing to my blog experiencing big changes…in my health and my attitude. Since beginning this writing, I intended it to be a tribute to Almighty God in trying to be a positive outlet and help others in their Christian walk.
That is about to change.
I have been instructed to take on some of the ‘hot potato’ topics that I have avoided. Not for gain or discord but to impart the truth that I have been given by God. Like it or not, we are living in a world where ‘bread and circuses’ are given more status in order to keep our attention away from what is happening in our world.
One of the most difficult things to deal with in your life journey is trying to come to terms with HOW you practice your beliefs in the reality of living in this world and how you try to reconcile your life as it is being LIVED with how you are impacted by God’s word and His Biblical handbook for actually LIVING your life as a Christ Follower. For a long time, I have tried to avoid controversy, utilizing the ‘Come, let us reason together’ attitude in an attempt to avoid conflict. It has been made clear to me in the past few months, however, that God never instructed me to avoid disagreement but to take a STAND in such matters while making an effort to remain committed to stating my case and moving on without rancor to those who may disagree.
With all that has happened in the world during the past few months, you might think I would come back fired up on many different social issues (I have plenty to choose from) but one of the biggest problems God has put on my heart is the growing lack of empathy and compassion being directed by the internet.
To think that a simple article about a child having their homework blowing away while others laugh would bring such an outrage to an old lady may be laughable…but this sign of our current descent into a complete lack of compassion has now come to the point of no return.
Just WHAT is the internet and social media DOING to our civilization?
People film accidents rather than help those impacted.
People rejoice in the suffering and problems of others.
People (even Christians) allow evil to inspire them to believe they can say and do what they like, when they like, to whom they like with words, pictures, and blogs online in order to hurt, demean, coerce, and put down those of different colors, persuasions, or beliefs.
People connect to form gangs to riot, protest, rob, kill, exploit, and a host of other evil attitudes for fun or profit.
We are LIVING the LORD OF THE FLIES book and few realize or care.
But what about all the GOOD social media provides? The GO FUND ME pages that raise money in disasters? The ‘connections’ in finding the lost or promoting safety in a disaster?
While commendable, I often wonder if the people who pledge on these Go Fund Me pages actually donate their money? I hope so…but having seen how hard it is to get donations of any sort for charities, I have to wonder. And while the connections made in a disaster are helpful, we see all to often how such connections can be used by others to rob or target individuals who are their most vulnerable.
What we are losing due to the huge increase of social media’s anonymity is EMPATHY. The emotional capacity to put ourselves in the place of others. And losing this is dangerous. When you no longer identify with another human being, you are in danger of lowering yourself to the attitude of basic survival instinct. You no longer care about conscience. And you inflate SELF to the highest point.
Some humans have lost this attribute because of life’s circumstances. They have been injured mentally, physically, and emotionally somehow to the point where they no longer feel any other person’s pain. Social media’s premise of anonymity allows us a path to film, blog, write, snap, and address our basest emotions–conning us in to caring little about the consequences of such actions in an effort to gain fame, fortune, or ‘likes’.
I wonder how many would say or do, IN PERSON, what they write, film, blog, or snap online? I wonder if you behavior would change if you knew that EVERYTHING you think, say, and do would be seen by a judge? Any judge? Let alone Almighty God.
Would even non-believers quake at what their online presence might show?
Yes, I can see the benefit of the internet.
It is a useful tool.
But does it outweigh the danger of losing the capacity of COMPASSION and EMPATHY which, in large part, is one of the best human attributes and one of the most beneficial to a society?
Phillipians 2:3-11-“Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
Whether you believe the above or not, examine yourself. Would your reputation stand if what you write, promote, or film online was exposed? Are you losing the capacity to ‘agree to disagree’ with others and still have LOVE for others as your basis of living? Are you ‘robbing’ yourself of empathy to another human simply because they don’t believe what you do? Have you made your online life a god which must be fed each and every day to the extent that you allow it more importance than it should have? Or you spending more time online than being ‘on’ with God? Or ‘on’ caring about others in real life?
Part of what makes us human is our reaction to the sense of touch. Robots and computers cannot ‘touch’ us in the same way as the social connection that we have with others–even others we disagree with.
It is time to dispense with excuses. The fabric of our society as a whole is in danger of being corrupted when our first reaction to the suffering of another is to laugh rather than to help.
Blessing upon you this day. May these words encourage us all to examine ourselves in spirit and truth…