In January, at the behest of some internet people, I opened a Twitter account. It’s been interesting. The comments against hope and healing for post-abortive men have been similar to Instagram and Facebook but more so. More venom. More hate. More anger. 

For me, a person whose second language is sarcasm, it has been an interesting ride so far. I have struggled with responses being the “right” thing. I have struggled with my tone and tenor. I have struggled to keep my sarcasm and my own anger at bay. 

It’s funny, I truly thought I would be able to engage with people that disagree with me and have an open discussion…an exchange of ideas. I thought we would both share our positions and ideas for solutions and have a bit of a back and forth.
Oops. 

But today God put two things together for me. The first was a psychological term I came across in my reading this morning. The term is cognitive dissonance. The idea is someone can be so committed to what they think that no amount of data, facts or information will sway them. I find it true also that, the more information that is presented that is contrary to their current position, the more they dig in and fight it. 

I started to think about these things and the interactions I’ve had with folks on social media. That made me acutely aware of the fact that those discussions were never going to go anywhere. Truly, they haven’t. 

Then this morning I received my weekly newsletter in my email from an organization called Wire. I read it through and was presented with a several verses from the Bible. This is common and it is always encouraging to read what they put together. 

But what really hit me in the gut today was Colossians 3:12-14. “So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in a wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.”

It was a reminder to me that my job is to share what I’ve learned and what I think I know today. My job isn’t to convince anyone of anything. Now, that relieves a great deal of pressure as we are conditioned otherwise. We are conditioned to wade into the battle with the adversary that is typically defined for us. 

But that’s not what the above verse says. 

I think that’s part of the reason the zealots were so confused by the message Jesus brought. 

In life I am to learn and grow and change and evolve. As I do, I am required to share what I learn. I am required to admit when I am wrong and I am required to keep growing and learning and sharing. 

If what I share is not received that’s not on me. If what I share is fought against…not on me either. If I change my mind or learn new information and then my past understanding is mocked or brought up 20 years later…you guessed it…not on me. 

I am to live and love in a way as to show others the grace and forgiveness that I have received and that is available to them. I am to be quick to forgive and slow to anger. And none of this is predicated on the actions of another. It is what I am to do. Think of it as a pact between me and God. He forgave me and showed me love and mercy and so I must do the same to others. 

To further my message of hope, healing and restored relationship with God and to reach as many men with that message as possible, I must stay on these various platforms. What will change…what has to change…is how I respond to those that oppose the message I bring.