Have you ever noticed how social media makes everyone an expert on everything? When a new hot topic starts trending open up whatever app you use and start scrolling through... or better yet search a specific hash tag. Let me get you started. Grab your phone, or tablet and open up your social media app of choice. Now search #JusticeForHarambe.
If you aren't familiar and just have no desire to do the hashtag thing I'll give you the short version of the story: A four year old child ditched his parents, crossed the numerous barriers of a gorilla habitat/display at the Cincinnati Zoo and fell into the water surrounding the gorillas. He was dragged out of the water by a male Silverback and zoo officials made the decision to shoot him with a firearm out of great fear for the boy's life. Harambe the gorilla died. The four year old boy lived. Fingers are pointing in every direction. Tempers are flaring. Parents are being blamed. Zoo officials are being blamed. Petitions are circulating for charges against the parents. Some even want the names of the family released so that the world can be judge and jury in case they only hear about on the news. The amount of visceral responses from this one topic is absolutely unreal but it isn't the first time.
Remember Cecil the Lion? (#CecilTheLion)
Remember last week when the internet argued about bathrooms?
Remember the public shaming given to women who read Fifty Shades of Grey?
Remember all the blogs and hateful responses about Godly women wearing yoga pants and bikinis?
Remember the beginning of this whole election process?
How about #NeverTrump or the lashing people are taking simply for going to hear a candidate speak?
Oy. My head hurts just pulling some of those beauties out of the dusty memory banks in my mushy brain. Some of these things need to be discussed. We need to be able to share our thoughts and convictions. Persuasive commentaries can occasionally be effective on social media. But I sure do like what Jeremiah had to say:
"Then I will give them a heart to know Me, that I am the Lord; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God, for they shall return to Me with their whole heart." Jeremiah 24:7
My favorite part of that verse is the beginning. "Then I will give them a heart to know Me..." If someone doesn't even know God, why in the world would we ever think that they would respond in a way that is in line with God in the first place? Only God can turn a heart toward Him, and you are His biggest voice. How do we show God when we take the bait of despair, anger, and hatred that the enemy lures many people into? Don't you know that one of his favorite fishing grounds is located on the screen in the palm of your hand? Don't take the bait my Facebook friends. Anger and bitterness have no place in our hearts. Regardless of how passionately we feel about a subject, we have to look beyond the immediate circumstance and let God break our hearts for the things and people that break His so that we offer the hope that He gives in His word. "...Then, and only then, will they return to me with their whole heart." Arguments, shaming, and belittling isn't bringing anyone into heaven or introducing anyone to Jesus.
Jeremiah reminds us at the end of his writing that God's holiness and justice should never be underestimated so while we need to stand for our conviction there's no need for hatred in that stand... His justice will prevail. Jeremiah goes on to say that God's holiness and justice exist fully with His great compassion and thankfully it just never fails. That's the tweet I would like to send out. How about you?
If you read this blog and like it, share and better yet, tweet #Hisloveneverfails.
Amanda Williams is a forty-year old wife and mother of two who can still swing her pony tail and display just a tad of sass. She is also a Jesus loving girl who realizes she is nothing without the One who saved her. Amanda has two degrees specializing in serving students with special needs and is currently working in the field of Leadership Development. She is a Christian author, speaker, blogger, and publisher who loves serving beside her husband at her local place of worship, First Baptist Church of Ocala.