Happy Saturday to you!
Today's post comes from a writer that is no stranger to this website. A few of her literary pieces have been featured previously on the blog. If you have not read Zelena's previous posts, check them out here. Also, do not forget to leave your thoughts on her message in the comment section below.
Yesterday I saw a post, well more of a meme, reflecting the two opposing sides of the government aid issue. I saw it after many months of watching my timeline be flooded with critical statements about the people who enlist the aid. It's always bothered me. Not only because from time to time I've needed the aid personally, but also because I'm spiritually convicted about the matter. After seeing this meme, I decided to voice my opinion in direct response to people who boldly and offensively oppose the provision of government aid.
My first point was that while some people on government aid are comfortable, using it as a crutch for life, most people who utilize the resource would rather not need it. Those persons would much rather work hard and have that be enough to sustain their living; however for them it's not possible. Despite higher learning and obtaining degrees that should qualify them for higher pay, many are still struggling to pay for the bare necessities.
The second point I made was from a biblical stand point. Since the start of God's relationship with his people, he has taught us to provide for the poor. Centuries ago, caring for the poor meant leaving the edges of your fields untouched so that the poor and the sojourner would have the provision of food (Leviticus 23:22). This was just one example. If this is God's instruction, why do we oppose?
The Word of God says that the poor will always be among us. To me, that says it's a given that not everyone will have that open door or opportunity to succeed, and not always because of the lack of effort. The people who oppose the provision made for the poor are under the assumption that everyone who can work hard, and does work hard, will be successful at making a living that allows them to live with at least their basic needs. This assumption is erroneous and insensitive. It is my opinion that a Christian who has this kind of thinking, is either uninformed or not fully committed to God's word. This is pure ignorance and arrogance.
I've been prompted to write about this issue because someone very close to me confronted me about not only this post, but also the manner in which I express my thoughts on social issues. I haven't been able to sleep since the conversation. Thus, I figured I needed to pray and write. The individual urged me to be careful of coming off as offensive in my approach of addressing issues publicly. She thought I might offend people; consequently, those people would be inclined to pull away from me.
To say the least, I was enraged—not because I care that people would remove themselves from my circle. Instead, I was enraged because I felt like I was being asked to shut up. For me, shutting up and not using a public platform of which I have free access to stand for truth and combat what I see as an affront to the truth, is cowardice. Additionally, I felt like I was being asked to be a weak Christian. By no means am I a militant person. On the other hand, I am very passionate when it comes to my stance on worldly issues. I would describe myself as an aggressive Christian.
I do not believe that the social issues of this present age and one's spiritual views can be separated, by a true Christian or a devout follower of any other faith. All of my viewpoints are simultaneously influenced by personal experience and spiritual beliefs. It is my belief that each person's social convictions should reflect his/her spiritual convictions.
I am spiritually convicted to be a bold woman of faith. In other words, I aim to please the Lord with my words and actions rather than pleasing people. I boldly rebuke error through the authority given me by God, without taking on a feeling of being judgmental, or believing the popular misconception that offending people with truth is sinful. God despises the coward as much as the murderer (Rev 21:8). God does not applaud anyone for bypassing an opportunity to combat falsehood.
Social media is a place that connects us to strangers across the world, as well as people we love. It has become one of the biggest political and social platforms through which people are informed and brainwashed. If you have a Facebook and not a pulpit, but you don't use it to dominate the evil you see, I fear we are in trouble. Satan is heard on these platforms. I am called to make sure God is heard just as loudly or even louder. I state my social views with biblical support, and I do it knowing that the truth is offensive. Certainly, walking boldly in faith is not comfortable. A truth unspoken is a truth unlearned.
I am offensive because the message of Christ, his truth, is offensive. I am angry, but anger is not sin (Eph 4:26). I speak freely and boldly in God's authority just as Christ' followers did in times past (Acts 4:13). I know that I will be persecuted and shut out at some point for the sake of the truth and that's alright. The Lord warned me in his word about the consequences of following his way.
We live in a time where it is dangerous to be silent. Lines are being blurred. Right and wrong have switched places. We are pleasing men while offending God. Witnessing is a joke because we backpedal every fact with sugar coated and frilly nonsense, as if God needs our help to make what he says sound more tolerable. How insulting to our Savior! Regurgitate the principals and ways of the Lord in our lives and let him worry about the soil it falls on. That's our job and that's it.
Do not be mistaken. A weak Christian has no impact on the faith, accept to hide it and give the notion that God is a people pleaser. Not taking every opportunity to right a wrong IS WRONG. Doing nothing, saying nothing, is as powerful as doing or saying what is wrong.
I urge every God fearing man and woman to walk in holy boldness every day of your lives, at every chance you get. You don't have to go looking for lies or affronts to the truth. They are everywhere. You just have to take the opportunity to declare truth or you will have to answer for your silence! There is a time for biting your tongue (Matt 7:6). We should have the wisdom to understand when that is. That time is not when people are misinformed or spreading untruths for lack of knowledge. In those moments, you must speak so that no one is left with an excuse for why they rejected God, or socially, why they neglected to walk in his ways.
Philippians 1:12 I want you to know, beloved, that what has happened to me has actually helped to spread the gospel, 13 so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to everyone else that my imprisonment is for Christ; 14 and most of the brothers and sisters, having been made confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, dare to speak the word with greater boldness and without fear. 15 Some proclaim Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from goodwill. 16 These proclaim Christ out of love, knowing that I have been put here for the defense of the gospel;17 the others proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely but intending to increase my suffering in my imprisonment. 18 What does it matter? Just this, that Christ is proclaimed in every way, whether out of false motives or true; and in that I rejoice. Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, 19 for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance. 20 It is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be put to shame in any way, but that by my speaking with all boldness, Christ will be exalted now as always in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For to me, living is Christ and dying is gain.