Responding to Controversies


(Respondiendo a las Controversias)

I'm an emotionally intense person - you may not know that if you meet me in person though. I have years and years of experience of holding in my emotions and thoughts to myself. It started as a defense mechanism, for sure, but now it's more of a conscious choice to make sure that when I speak or write, it actually means something and it doesn't just add to the noise. That's one of the reasons I don't always chime in on controversial topics or news. I'm not someone to post, share, or comment just for the sake of giving my opinion or jumping on the bandwagon.

It's been a few days since New York passed the bill regarding abortion, and I've been going back and forth on whether I should comment on it or not. My heart is broken and distressed, but, again, I don't want to post just to post and add to the noise. I've felt God stirring something in me, so I'm cautiously writing this and praying that my words may not be in vain.

I've read articles and posts on both sides, and while it didn't change my opinion on abortion as a whole (regardless of this bill), here's a theme that I saw that actually gave me Hope: this event is giving people a reason and boldness to speak up and share their story and their faith. I read story after story from women from all walks of life about how they had an abortion (some by personal choice and some by pressure/force), how they considered it (or were pressured to consider it), how they helped other women who considered abortion, and others about how their babies are miracle stories. Here's my point, no matter where you are on the spectrum - Your. Story. Matters. Not only that, but God can use it for His glory and to bring others to Him!

So if you're hurt, confused, broken, outraged, or whatever you're feeling, here are some things that have been on my heart this week:

Let us live and speak (and post on social media) in a way that reflects that we know that God is sovereign and good. Outrage and shock factor may get people to click and respond, but what else will that do? How will that bring others to Jesus? If you feel called to speak and have a passion about it, what shall we say then? Here's what I feel like God is telling us: "Stop calling people murderers, selfish, ignorant, or terrible people - share your story of redemption instead. He will take care of the rest!" Calling people out in judgement will do zero for the Gospel - well, it will drive them farther instead! Show them what God has done in your life. Sharing our times of failure and pain, and how God brought us through it, has more power and influence than throwing out insults and judgement ever will. If you had or even considered abortion, share your story. If you haven't, share your story. Whoever you are and whatever you've been through, share your story. When I think back at the people that had an influence on my faith, you know what they didn't do? Judge, belittle, or call me out harshly. They shared with me their own story of God's help and redemption. They invited me in to their failures, doubts, fears, sins, and shared God's truth in love. It made all the difference between me running away and choosing to listen/follow!

When we share our story it:

Brings us healing and relief.

I've read so many stories of women who had an abortion and kept it in silence for years because of shame, guilt, fear of judgement, and so on. Even though some of them followed Jesus later on in their lives, when they finally shared about it, they felt such a relief because keeping it in ate them inside! Confessing our sins and sharing what God did in our lives brings freedom to our own soul!

Opens the dialog and the door to compassion.

When you share your story, you're making it "ok" for others to share theirs. You may still disagree, but communication can help to avoid misunderstandings and wrong assumptions. Like I mentioned above, reading so many stories did not change how I feel about abortion, but it filled my heart with compassion and made me want to be part of the solution, and not just judge without knowing these women.

Makes us relatable and invites other to lean in.

When people think you are perfect and have it all together, they may never reach out when they're struggling or need help; they may feel like you don't understand their pain. When we drop the curtain of perfection and we let others know that we are human too, others will want to see what you have to say out of curiosity and out of our human need to find that we're all in this together. When you are relatable, you're inviting others in instead of judging and pushing them away.

Allows God to work through us and our story.

By sharing your story, your times of struggle/pain/doubt/bad decisions, and how God saved you from all of that, it allows God to use that to reach others. If God could do that for you, it creates even the smallest drop of hope that He could do it for others too! Even if you feel like your story is not that "great" or impactful, trust that God can use it to reach someone else with it!

Here's what we need to remember during this controversy (and when the next one comes, because it will) - People are always watching, and when things like this happen, they're paying attention to what Christians will do - will they speak truth with love or with judgement? Will they wrap their arms and support those that are hurting, or will they attack and reject them? It doesn't mean we'll say it's ok or condone it, but it's OUR choice of how we react. Let's react with love.

So however you feel about this bill, about abortion in general, or any other topic, before we bark and throw words of judgement to those on the other side, let's stop and think before we talk/write. Let's talk truth with love, and let's share our story trusting that God will use it for His glory!

(Respondiendo a las Controversias)

¡Próximamente en Español!

No comments:

Post a Comment