If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. (1 Corinthians 13:1-3)
Social media is filled with too many resounding gongs and clanging cymbals these days—So many people voicing their opinions about what is right and wrong. People arguing in the comment sections like it is their duty to explain to the “moron” who commented last how foolish and flawed they are in their thinking. I’ve seen it happen not just on controversial posts but in the comment section of completely unrelated, harmless items like a cute video of puppies or a condolence to a family suffering hardship and the celebration of a group’s achievement. It’s almost like we believe our condescending, harsh comments will make a difference, change a mind. But even if I am right and can prove it beyond the shadow of a doubt, blindsiding others with my righteous indignation only serves to push people further from the truth. As the saying goes, people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.
Yet it’s so easy to get caught up in one of those kinds of useless debates before I know it is happening. A few years ago, I got into a heated discussion with someone because I made the mistake of assuming that if I just explained my position, the other person would understand. To my surprise, she didn’t and having made the same assumption, she answered by explaining her position. The discussion quickly became an argument with neither of us listening and both of us desperately trying to “enlighten” the other. We ended up hurting each other in a way that led to the eventual end of our friendship.
Being a Christian isn’t about being right! Being a Christian is about recognizing how wrong we are without God as the center of our lives. It’s about loving God in response to the love he has for us and the grace his love for us has fostered. It’s about reaching out to others in that love with the skills and gifts God has provided and encouraged us to develop. God is and provides the love that is the glue that binds us together in our differences and it is the propellant that pushes us beyond our limitations to extraordinary actions of faith that can and do make a difference.