When There's Too Much to Say
By: Dudley Rutherford
From time to time, I will take a break from social media, knowing there are many important issues to discuss every week. Honestly, there are times when it’s too much—too many topics on which to voice opinions and concerns. As a pastor, I always have to pray and ask God whether or not I ought to comment on every political, social, and tragic story that hits the news. There are times I want to, but there are times when it is simply not wise. Will my voice help and encourage? Will it unify? Will it point people to the Lord?
I know that there are people in our church and community who want to know where God is in difficult times or what Jesus would say if He were still here in the flesh. What should we say as believers in Jesus Christ in the midst of an endless news cycle? What should we do as Christians in seasons of divisiveness or uncertainty or sorrow? Should we say anything at all?
I am constantly reminded just to pray and to do what I can in my little world. In Matthew 5:13-16 Jesus called His followers to be the salt and light, and that means we are to share His light, His joy, His love, and His truth right where we are. Today, in your own home or neighborhood or workplace, you can make a difference and set the tone. Where there is divisive talk, you can choose to speak words of encouragement and unity. Where there is hopelessness, you can share the hope of God’s plan for the entire world. Where there are petty squabbles, you can refocus the conversation to what is truly important in this life. Where there is endless bad news, you can share the Good News of Jesus Christ!
Someone recently said to me, “I want to be the man I am supposed to be.” I said in return, “No, you need to be the man God wants you to be.” As believers, we need to continually seek the will and heart of God in all our decision making, words, and actions. Examining His Word on matters of justice, morality, and difficulty—or when we are worried or afraid—gives us peace that surpasses understanding (Philippians 4:7). First Chronicles 16:11 encourages us to, “Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually!”
Second Timothy 2:23-24 warns,
“Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.”
You know, some people just love to argue. As for me, I’m sick of it. Tired of it. No need for it. Reject it. I want to be a vessel in the hands of God, so I can clearly lift up Jesus that the world might believe (John 12:32). Our politicians and media are in a race to see who can divide us and how quickly. I have determined NOT to be caught up in the fray—to continue to see and view all people through the lens of love and grace, which is the same lens by which God views me.
You have a choice…we all do…to either go with the flow by helping other people divide us, or to make sure that within your circle you bring life-giving words (Proverbs 18:21). Look to every person and see them as God sees them: as a human being, created in God’s image and in need of saving grace.
Pastor Dudley Rutherford is the author of “Compelled: The Irresistible Call to Share Your Faith” and the senior pastor of Shepherd Church, which has three campuses in the Greater Los Angeles area—Porter Ranch, Woodland Hills, and Agua Dulce. You can connect with Dudley at www.LiftUpJesus.com and on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.