Tag Archives: philosophy

Sifting Through Social Media Opinions

When I was a kid, I often watched my Mom bake bread. One part of the process I really thought was neat was when she dumped the clean pure bleached flour through a sifter.  I asked her, Mom, if the flour is already clean pure and bleached then why do you need to put it through the sifter? She said, “It makes the flour lighter and it blends better.  Plus, it removes any potential non-palatable hunks, chunks, or impurities.  When it comes to baking a “Great” loaf of bread, I never assume the machinery that spits out the finished product is flawless.”

Wow! What a lesson. Today, I think about social media and how it has the potential to produce non-palatable hunks, chunks, and impurities.  Now, I am not attacking it (Social Media); I use it.  At first, I despised social media, I somehow thought I was subject to every opinion I read. News Flash:  I am not and neither are you.

What is an opinion?

Opinion Definition: a view or judgment formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge.

How many opinions do you think you sift through on a daily basis?

How many of those opinions do you understand to be truthful?

Does the act of opinion sifting cause you unnecessary stress, depression, worry, anxiety, and/or fear?

I asked myself these questions as well. And, because I was truthful with myself I discovered just how much the opinions of others, if I let them, attempted to mar my identity.  I then thought about my Mother’s flour sifter. I wondered, how can I sift through the junk, hunks, chunks, and other impurities found in social media?  Then all of a sudden it hit me:

  1. I have the power to question any and all opinions before I accept them as truth.
  2. I have the ability to educate myself on the truth of the matter before I consider absorbing what I have just read or witnessed.
  3. I have the strength to bypass those opinions or comments that in no way uplifts me or any other human being.

Oh yeah! And because I am Christian I can recall the words of the Apostle Paul (Philippians 4:8-9):

“Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”

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What is My Purpose?

How often do you contemplate your purpose in the life you have been given?  Do you know what your purpose is? Are your priorities positioned in a way that allow you to fulfill your purpose?  Often times I feel like a rudderless ship tossed about on a sea of choices.  It is the variety of these choices which cause my purpose to be swayed by my selfish pleasure seeking desires.  Do I condemn myself for focusing my purpose inward through fleeting accomplishments, accolades, and worldly goal attainment?  No.  I give myself permission to be human.  However, being human does not excuse me from reevaluating my purpose as life tosses me to and fro. But, how do I reevaluate my purpose?  As a Christian what measuring device do I use to find the purpose that truly fulfills my soul?  Many times in my life I made the mistake of thinking the “Free Will” I was given was so I could discover “MY” purpose, but it wasn’t.  The free will I was given was given for use in service; service to God and other mini-me’s who bear His Image.  Service to God and others is a rudder to my torrent soul; it leads me always back to my “Father.” On an Enlistment Poster Jesus said, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 7:21) It is God’s will that provides me with my purpose, and His will, will, be done on earth as it is in heaven!

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Am I for the Right, Am I for the Left, or Am I for Love?

I consider myself a student of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In my studies I have come to this conclusion: “Jesus, is neither right nor left; He is Love. In fact, many times throughout his ministry we see him at odds with the Pharisees, which to me is the group that most resembles the current day “Political Religious Right.” Yet, he still loves them.

The New Year will soon be upon us, it is an election year, and in this New Year we will hear words like “Evangelical, Religious right, and Christian conservative. To me, to be either is a contradiction to the teachings of Christ.  Christ took one side and one side only, the side of unconditional love toward imperfect fallen humanity.  Philip Yancey says, “Jesus, honored the dignity of each person whether he agreed with him or her or not.  Anyone, even a half-breed with five husbands or a thief nailed to a cross, was welcomed to join his kingdom.  The person was more important than any category or label.”

Obviously, all Americans have the right to political expression and opinions. However, often times those professing to be Christian, myself included, need to be reminded of this scripture: “I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one.” (John 17:14-15). In my opinion politics become dangerous when is pulls Christ followers in a direction that creates a feeding frenzy upon any person or group of persons.  Since humanity’s fall in the garden, humans, Christian or not, are predisposed to devour everything in sight as soon as there is blood in the water.  Again, Yancey claims “How easy it is to shout across the picket lines at the ‘enemy’ on the other side. A political movement by nature draws lines, makes distinctions, pronounces judgment; in contrast, Jesus’ love cuts across lines, transcends distinctions, and dispenses grace.  If my activism drives out such love, I betray his kingdom.”

The real issue here is not whether a Christian need be Right or Left. The real concern here is that our politics never change the fact, as a follower of Christ, our first duty it to “LOVE” every human being regardless of our upbringing and presuppositions. So, now, after becoming aware of my human tendencies I pray the love of Christ will help me.  And, in the New Year when someone asks me “James, is your political view Right or Left, I can answer: “Neither; it’s Love!”

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