I know a lot of people. Well, actually I am acquainted with a lot of people. You don’t really know people that aren’t in your inner circle, do you? In fact, some that are in your inner circle you don’t know too well, either, because they’re too busy pretending to be something on the outside they’re not.
That’s one of the beauties of social media. People may not mean to share their inner thoughts, but if you pay attention they do. Of course, you get the TMI folks (Too Much Information) who share EVERYTHING, including the stuff they shouldn’t. But then there are just the normal folks who share the ups and downs of their life. There is a lot to learn about them as you watch them day after day.
Not that I’m a Facebook stalker or anything, but I do watch my friends posts to see how they’re doing. I do a lot of praying for my FB friends. In fact, I try to go through my whole friends list once in a while and just pray over each one of them. But I’ve noticed something over the years that I’ve kept to myself.
My friends who are not Christians or who are less mature in their faith seem to struggle significantly more than my friends who are more mature Christians, seeking to follow Christ in their life.
Those of your reading this that are solid followers of Christ are saying, “Duh” right now. Those of us in the faith know that the deeper in relationship with get with Jesus, the more we can manage our hardships and find contentment in the storms of life.
Notice what I said there? I didn’t say as Christians we don’t have the same storms as everyone else. We do. Our problems are just the same as non-believers’ problems. However, by embracing the tenants of our faith, we know how to apply mercy, forgiveness, grace, and humility. We work hard to not judge or take offense, and we know to trust Jesus when trouble does come. By trusting that Jesus has a plan no matter the situation, we know we can find peace in whatever comes our way.
I have friends that believe in everything from nothing (atheists) to paganism. Some believe in horoscopes; some believe in crystals; some believe in some other types of mystical stuff; while others believe in some off-shoot of Christianity that no longer resembles the faith handed down by Jesus and the Apostles. And these folks seem pretty miserable when the storms of life hit them.
You see them sharing their pain on social media. That’s the first clue they can’t find peace. You see, they are crying out for comfort from their friends – some kind of affirmation that they’re okay, because they don’t have Jesus in their life who’s already died on a cross to PROVE they are okay!
Then you can notice they kind of keep going through the same storms over and over again. That’s another clue they don’t have Jesus. Those of us in the faith learn as we mature how to move past these storms through forgiveness and humility so that we don’t keep doing the same thing over and over again. That is part of our faith. Those without that faith will see their life repeating almost in a cycle of storms that never seems to end.
Lastly, you just hurt for them when you can palpably feel their pain that is never healed. The slightest trigger reopens the wounds for yet another round of misery. Followers of Jesus know how He heals that pain so that we aren’t triggered over and over again each time a similar situation rubs up against our emotional scars.
I’ve found that trying to share Jesus with these friends is hard. There is a reason they believe in all that other stuff. However, what I’d want to tell them (and often do) is this, “You’ve tried it your way and it’s not worked out. You’re still in the exact same situation you’ve always been in. Unless you want to stay there for the rest of your life, you ought to give Jesus a try – can’t be any worse than where you are.”
Here’s what I know about Jesus – once you let Him in and are serious about letting Him change your life He will do just that! I’ve never seen a horoscope, I-Ch’ing, paganism, crystals, or religious off-shoots change a person spiritually, emotionally, mentally or physically. But I have seen Jesus do that time and time again! In fact, it happens on a daily basis – just search the net!
So, to my social media friends who are not believers. I love you guys! I want you to find love, peace, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. These are called the Fruit of the Spirit and come to you as a gift when you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. Yes, we have to work on our walk and it is a lifetime process. However, I just don’t see that what you’re doing is getting you what you want. You may as well try Jesus. I’ll be watching!