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Northview Blog Wide-Eyed: Seeing Others Through A Jesus Lens

November 3, 2020

Wide-Eyed: Seeing Others Through A Jesus Lens

Scrolling through social media can make you smile, laugh, cringe, or shake your head, depending on what comes up on your screen. Oftentimes we find ourselves unintentionally (and if we are being honest - intentionally) judging the person who posted the photo, video or meme. Maybe the post changes the way we feel about the person – both good and bad. If the post is contrary to the way we feel, we might reply to the post sharing our disagreement, consider unfollowing the person who made the post or, in a less obvious tactic, hide their posts from showing up on our feed.

With the fast-paced world where information is shared at an ever-increasing rate, along with the constant need to share our thoughts and feelings in the social media platform, we are losing sight of the fact that Jesus called us to love one another.

In 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, love is described as patient and kind – not envious, boastful nor proud. Furthermore, love does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Does this sound like how we typically love each other? Maybe we reserve this kind of love for those in our circle of friends and family or the people who think the way we do. If so, then this is not a biblical way to love.

As the church, we have to remember to respect others, even when their opinions and beliefs are different from ours, and not participate in arguments that are increasingly commonplace in various threads on social media. By becoming enraged and lashing out, it stirs up hostility, does not do well to actually resolve differences, and does not love people the way God wants us to.

In Jennie Allen’s audio Bible study for “Get Out of Your Head,” she tells the listening audience to ask themselves, “If Jesus were to come back today, would this matter?”

“This” can be any of the disagreements on social media; “this” can be our judgment of others; “this” can be our own selfish ambitions. Asking this question really puts everything into perspective because in reality, nothing really matters besides what Jesus wants for our lives.

We need to shift our focus and intentionally see other people through a Jesus lens. How would He respond to that post that rubs you the wrong way? Would He comment angrily or with love? If Jesus had social media, He would not unfriend anyone and instead would encourage us all to turn the other cheek, like Matthew 5:39 tells us to do.

God created all people and loves all people. This does not exclude any individual person we think isn’t doing life the way they should. Jesus does not love one creed or class of people more than any other. There is no heavenly hierarchy that God keeps based on how successful, good-looking or smart we think we are on Earth.

Love is a call to action, so take a minute to think about your behavior and your own presence on social media. Are your posts drawing people to Jesus or away from Him? Are you stirring the pot or trying to put out the flame? It’s good to check in with yourself and consider the old adage: if you can’t say anything nice, then don’t say anything at all.

Jesus gives us a multitude of opportunities here on Earth to love Him and love others. Sometimes the best way you can love someone is by scrolling past their post on social media and not commenting.

The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me. -Matthew 25:40

by Heather Goble-Sorrells

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