“She lacks an edit button on her mouth.”
“If a thought pops into her head, it comes out of her lips.”
“She’s got no filter.”
How many women do you know that could fit that description? Sadly, I would say too many of us. In an era where social media and personal blogging have made it easy for us to give full air to our opinions, it seems few of us hold back.
I am a feisty, gregarious, intelligent redhead. This can be both a blessing and a curse. When it comes to advocacy or making a difference in the world around me, God can use these traits for good. When it comes to putting a leash on my informed opinions, my self control is stretched to its limits.
However, what I see unraveling in the world around me definitely gives me pause. The assault of words and vitriol is stunning. Hatred pounds like crashing waves swelling from every direction. Friendships fracture and acquaintances antagonize. Neighbors are our nemesis. With every word the darkness seems to increase. Cynicism and sarcasm shroud our humor, impairing our ability to smile.
I have found myself convicted by this heavy pall hanging over the world. God’s word validates,
When words abound, transgression is inevitable, but the one who restrains his words is wise. (Proverbs 10:19, NET)
And the transgression is palpable. Relationships are ending over political candidates, racial beliefs, gun control, and perceptions on how to resolve problems related to terrorism. We shame one another over opinions, tastes, and ideas, each claiming the moral high ground. Yet, not one of us is without sin or completely flawless in our motivations.
As a result, I feel called less to bloviating and more to prayer. People need to read my opinions of the presidential candidates less than they need my intercessions before the Lord. They need my supplication more than my deprecation. I need not increase the dark with my snark. Rather I should rehab my heart from all this world’s toxicity by aligning it more with the Lord’s.
While we all seem to enjoy the power of bludgeoning people with our opinions, there is far greater power when we are on our knees. Prayer strengthens our focus and thereby, our resolve. Lifting our concerns and frustrations up to God gives us perspective as we connect with the One who is bigger than anything we may face. Steadiness returns as we meditate on the fact that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and no matter who is in the Oval Office.
In Paul’s letter to the Church in Ephesus, he warns believers:
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. (Ephesians 6:12, NIV)
His remedy? Putting on the full armor of God and praying continually. (Read Ephesians 6:10-20, NIV)
Our fight is no less than theirs. Every evil, every concern we face in this present world is also a struggle against dark spiritual forces. The good news is that our Commander is greater than those forces, and He orders us to do battle on our knees. When we are uniting in prayer, submitting to Him, we advance God’s kingdom and push back the darkness.
What might happen if you join me in bloviating less and praying more? Might we edify more than we tear down? Might we be a ray of light in this present darkness? Might we be ambassadors of HOPE in the midst of hopelessness? Might WE change even if our world does not?
*Read a like-minded post at my friend, Mary’s blog, Passionate Perseverance: When the World Goes Crazy…Fight Back…