April 30, 2014

Do You Really Want a Platform... or a Soapbox?

Sometimes I question myself and the rest of us if we haven't turned our platforms into soapboxes. Here's the thing people: We all have platforms and we're all leaders. But we've got issues, and far to often, especially on the world-wide, wonderful, web we quickly turn our platforms into soapboxes. Hubs where we spout out our opinions on EVERYTHING.

It just seems like there are endless streams of Facebook discussions, tweets and re-tweets, pins, and blog posts that playcate to our hyper-obsession with our opinions from what's happening in the church, to culture, to politics, down to our preferences over really insignificant things. We're too quick to jump on bandwagons online that merely exist for the purpose of undermining another's work in ministry. We're too quick to just say what we think, with little to no thought about how others will interpret it. We're too quick to speak in general.

And folks... this is so discouraging to me. (Maybe it is to you too... but I can only speak for myself here.) This is so not what being the body of Christ is about. We can do better then this. If I'm discouraged by seeing it, I can only imagine how people not of our faith feel do when they do to.

Nowhere in the Bible is it written that it's our opinions that will build up the body of believers. Actually, Paul said it was love. It's here that I'm reminding of Proverbs 18:2:
A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.
The thing I've learned just by being around many opinionated people is that they do not seek to understand others. Proverbs is dead right on this. Understanding involves a whole lot of listening, a whole lot of patience, and a whole lot of wisdom on knowing when to keep our mouths shut and when to speak. Additionally, when we give out our opinions left and right, when the time comes where they actually need to count, they will not be taken seriously. It's like crying wolf too many times.

Do we have rights to our opinions here in America? Yes, we do. Are those important? Yes, they are. But as a Christians we're also called to steward our platform well. You'd be hard-pressed to convince me (at least) that that looks like a soapbox. Our mothers were right when they sat us on their laps as children and told us that God gave us each two ears and one mouth so that we would do twice as much listening as we do speaking.
God didn't give us Twitter to bash other people. God didn't give us Facebook to start political debates. God didn't send His son to die for us so we could have our opinions.

Let's steward our platforms well, lest they become soapboxes and we forget to practice the art of understanding.

Just something I'm thinking about today, and examining in my own life. I'm also attaching the following video clip, because much of what Christine Caine says in it applies to this topic as well.

6 comments :

  1. Natalie, I have been reading your blog for years. Even when I step away from the internet or blogging for a while, I always come straight back to your blog first. For one thing, it feels like I am visiting an old friend. (It is no wonder I now have a friend who lives very close is VERY much like you.) For another thing, at some point in the near future, you always bring up coffee or tea or good books. Last, but not least, you are one of the best writers I know. Your posts are very thought-provoking- sometimes serious. Life itself seems to have become more serious than I once realized though, and so your posts fit well into my days. I loved this post. It is definitely something we should all think about. :)

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    1. That's so sweet of you Paige! Hope all is well with you and newly married life =)

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  2. Wow! I've had these thoughts floating in my head for some time now and it's kind of a relief to have someone (you!) detail them all out like this. I couldn't ever quite grasp why it is that people ALWAYS sharing their opinion on everything really bugged me... but I think you hit the nail on the head. I've been studying Proverbs lately and noticed the running trend with seeking wisdom and understanding, and I love the connection you made there between this issue we have and the right way to find that wisdom.

    Anyway, thanks for writing this! It's very encouraging to know there are others out there who get this as well.

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    1. Yes, we need a heavy dose of proverbs don't we?

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