Thursday, July 3, 2008

Where's A Soapbox When You Need One?

Mud-slinging--Mud-slinging—Brittney--More mud-slinging—Ew, now that’s just inappropriate—Obama vs. McCain—mud-slinging disguised as news—high-pitched beep—More inappropriate.

This is what I witnessed as I flipped channels one night. I couldn’t believe how negative, how cruel, how absurd it all was.

Where’s a soapbox when you need one?

“Anyone who leaves his car out of the garage with valuables inside needs a dunce hat. We don’t ALL need to spend money for security just because of a few (profanity along the lines of idiots) in our neighborhood.”

This was an email from our homeowner’s yahoo group about some crime in our neighborhood. Trust me, it got way worse from there.

Where’s a soapbox when you need one?

I could go on and on, and most surely would, if only I could find my soapbox. The problem is that there are too many soapboxes out there already. This has been the matter the Lord has placed on my heart over recent months as I’ve asked Him to clean me up from the inside out.

How does God want me to handle it when I have a complaint? What should my response be to the ‘mud-slinging’ this world--even the Christian one--has to offer me? He’s given me a voice. How does he want me to use it? How did the Lord God of Heaven intend for us to speak out on His behalf?

Here’s the general answer: His intention is for us to come to Him with our complaints first, giving Him the opportunity to show us how to respond or react, or whether we should at all.

“I pour out my complaint before HIM; before HIM I tell my trouble.” Psalm 142:2

“Commit your way to the LORD; trust in HIM and HE will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause shine like the noonday sun. Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for HIM; do not fret when men succeed in their ways…when they carry out their wicked schemes.” Psalm 37:5-7

If we go to our friends, our websites, our self-help books first, we miss out on an awesome opportunity to glean from His wisdom. He may lead us to a friend to help us sort things through. He may even provide us an outlet for our messages or our criticisms, but it will look a lot different after going through His filter than it would have looked if we had just blurted it out in the first place.

The specific answers about how to handle the world’s complaints, as well as our own, come from Him. Sometimes they are attacks on something we believe in, sometimes they are attacks that we believe to be true but not justified, and sometimes the attacks are personal in nature. His answer for us begins with humility.

“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you,
which is good and pleasing and perfect.”

Romans 12:2

“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God,
and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

2 Corinthians 10:5

Maybe, just maybe, if we stop looking for a soapbox to stand on, we’ll find ourselves landing on our knees instead. It is there that we will be transformed in our learning and our thinking, knowing just what to speak when we stand back up and plant our feet firmly on HIs solid ground.

***All Scriptures quotes from the NIV.

(c) Copyright 2008 LauraLee Shaw

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The Surrendered Scribe said...

This is excellent, Laura. I know lately with all the "recession" media obsession I keep reading through faith outlets and my own heart that He is in control and He is going to show the media. With the price of gas, I know it's hard for me not to get caught up in the media. You are right, if we'd get off the soap box and on our knees, wow!

Homesteader in Training said...

It's so true about the negativity in the world today. We got rid of "tv" via cable about 4 years ago and haven't looked back since. The horrible news and smutty commercials and all that, we didn't want coming into our home, not even for a second. We now have every bit of control of what is seen on our tv. What you watch affects who you are.
As far as complaints, you are right. Take it to the Lord first, let Him filter out all the residue of your selfishness and then what's left is what is presentable and usable. I've learned that you can't fight every war and every cause. I always ask the Lord to lead me in what He would have me spend my time on other than my family. He's got it all mapped out.
Great post!

Joanne Sher said...

So much truth here, Laura - it is SO easy to get caught up in it, but we REALLY need to turn to Him first. thank you so much for the wonderful reminder, my dear!

Patty Wysong said...

You're so right! If we hit our knees before our soapboxes things sure would come out differently! Great truth for us! Hugs!

Blessed One said...

Oooh, Laura, this is a good one. I have to remind myself all the time to get off my soapbox and tame my own tongue (no profanity, but I do have some strong opinions sometimes). It seems way to often, I hear myself saying "Dont' get me started on..." It really would be nice to live in a kinder, gentler world, but I do know, it first starts with me. Thanks for writing this. Blessings! ~ Tracy

Laury said...

Oh my, this is a very good word and sooo very timely! Love you, Lalee! Missing you so very much!