Something I’ve discovered about myself on the internet is that I have a very short fuse when it comes to whiners. It’s somewhat amusing, I was never aware of this until recently, but you know that little twitch you start to get in your eyebrow, that 10 point rise in your blood pressure?
Yep, like that. That little signal that lets me know I’ve encountered a real whiner. My family has been well aware of my problem with whiners for a number of years now, but has never said a word beyond like, “like duh.”
All in good humor here, but this certainly does explain my sudden and swift lack of empathy when I encounter a whiner, something rather out of character for me.
You may wonder what in the world this has to do with being salt and light, so perhaps some background is in order. I frequently attempt to chat with people, sometimes about matters of faith. Every now and than I encounter someone down on the church, down on faith, believers mind you, who say things like “the church has been totally feminized,” or the “church has lost it’s salt,” or whatever. These things are not totally untrue, there are a myriad of problems within churches. Sometimes forgotten however, is that WE are the church.
In the bible the term for “whining” would be murmurings, as in people wandered around lost in the desert for 40 years because they were so busy murmuring. From reading that story I get the distinct impression that God is not impressed with our murmurings. Also, apparently He believes in the old adage, walk it off.
WE are the church. If “the church” has offended us, we don’t get to just sit on the sidelines and point fingers as if we ourselves are above being tainted by such things. This may sound harsh, but I am not talking about people who have experienced genuine spiritual abuse or those who just cannot find a home church, I am talking about those who endlessly whine about the horrors of other Christians who are obviously “doing it all wrong.”
I confess this issue I have with whiners because I don’t want this post to sound too harsh, but I grew up within militant atheism and was not allowed to read a bible. I could not go to church or worship. I literally had to pray in secret. Ever taken communion alone? That’s a real oxymoron.
People don’t always understand how privileged they are, how much freedom they have until they lose it. Every single time I walk into a church or even a bible study, I never forget where I came from, how blessed I am today to have the freedom to worship. It never leaves my mind, it is that burned into my brain. My faith has been a real struggle, so every time I see other Christians engage in worship or praise or prayer, it feels like Victory to me. I don’t even have to know you, I just need to see you, somewhere, anywhere, giving praise or praying. Heck, I’ve been known to follow cars down the road just becasue they have a “Jesus is Lord” bumper sticker on them. Those crosses people sometimes put up on their houses, those matter to me. My eyes never stop scanning and seeking evidence of people’s faith and every time I spot it, I think of Victory, Jesus Christ’s victory on the cross.
My own struggles are nothing compared to what some people in the world are going through right now. There are atrocities happening that I cannot even bear to think about. Even right here safely at home there are people suffering grief and loss and the storms of life that threaten to swallow us all up. None of us really get through life unscathed and none of us can do it alone.
Which brings me back to my plea for salt and light. Now perhaps more than ever we need every single person claiming Christ’s name to Let their light so shine before men…..
Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Matthew 5:13-16