Internet 101: Knee Jerk Reactions

“Quick! Grab your pitch forks! Someone posted an article on social media that I don’t like!” 

You can’t scroll through the newsfeed anymore without seeing knee jerk reaction posts…

“I am outraged that this is happening! We must all protest IMMEDIATELY!” 

So I click on the article and it turns out to be a dud. In fact, the article is twisting words to make it read a certain way.

Don’t buy into every piece of click bait on the internet. Take 5 minutes to do a quick search and see if there’s any validity. 

And please, please, please don’t make leaping assumptions about the message behind something or “how it’s poisoning us all” without doing some research.

It’s time to disband social media mobs. 

What is it accomplishing?

Most of the stuff you see smacks of fear and 95% of that fear is unfounded.

Be careful in our world of hyperbole. 

I know it’s not hard to believe that the machine–media and politicians–want us to be in a frenzy. When the people are in a frenzy, they will make rash decisions and allow things to happen that they might not otherwise agree to under normal circumstances.

And, no, this post is not about the Orlando massacre, but the same logic applies. 

What I’m referencing is a social media mob forming over a movie that’s coming out.

Seriously? Take a chill pill. It’s a movie.

If you don’t want to go, then don’t go. There’s no reason to stir up trouble about it.

Don’t blow up the internet with your rage about something that you read in an article. I mean, everything’s true if someone posts it on a website, right? 

Yeah. About that…

The real problem is hopelessness

I saw racism at work today and it was an ugly monster.

Racism will never go away until unchanged, hateful hearts hear the Truth.

There are not adequate words to describe what I’m feeling right now. It’s a weird mixture of anger, sadness, empathy, and……..resolve. I know resolve isn’t a feeling, but it found its place inside my heart in the midst of the emotions.

The young man came into my office and told me what happened. He had the saddest look on his face. The man was hurt, yes, yet he forgave the woman immediately.

Do you know what still had him sad?

His sense of overall hopelessness.

I can’t get his words out of my head:

I guess what hurts me the most is that this kind of thing happens and no one has my back. No one’s going to do anything.


Here’s some questions for us to consider:

What if a mentality of hopelessness is behind all of the tension–racial and otherwise–around the world?

What if our own hopeless utterances of “things just are the way they are” is keeping us from doing the right thing?

This is not me negating the importance of personal responsibility or excusing bad behavior. This is me wrestling with my own negligence while a hurting world is simply running around in the dark looking for hope.

I was convicted today because I saw a young man who was told his skin color made him less than–and he really believed it.

He was just as hopeless as the perpetrator of the offense.

Pray for him.

Pray for the perpetrator.

Pray for me.

I’m going to share the gospel with my new friend. The only thing that drives out hate and hopelessness is a Love beyond words.

Want to vs. Need to

Putting off tasks that are not fun will not make them more fun later.

No one likes to pay bills.

To budget.

To exercise.

Some things need to be done–whether you enjoy them or not.

When I first started exercising, I hated it.

I hated when the alarm clock went off.

I hated leaving my warm house on cold winter mornings.

But I still did it.

After a while, once I saw the results, I began to enjoy it more and more.

We need to quit making people feel guilty when they don’t enjoy something at first.

Jesus tells a story in Matthew 21:28-32. Let me paraphrase it for you:

A father asks two sons to go work in the yard. One son says, “Are you kidding me? I won’t do it!” Later on, he feels bad and decides to go. The other son said, “Sure, Dad! I’ll be glad to help!” and then didn’t show up to work. Jesus said the first son was obedient.

Jesus was looking at their hearts and he saw what was really going on. He was telling this story to religious leaders (it was really about them). He was talking about their refusal to accept Him as the Messiah.

We need to realize, though, that this story can be applied to more than just “spiritual” things like missions and evangelism.

The principles in the Bible apply to all areas of our lives–spirit, soul, and body.

Keep this text in mind next time you’re struggling to want to do something.

Maybe you should just do it because it’s the right thing to do.

Your heart and attitude will catch up with your decision.

Remember: Words mean nothing without action behind them.

Transitional daydreams

Ever been so lost in thought that it’s hard to come back to reality?

It’s a lot like daydreaming. You see all of these things happening around you, but it’s more like you’re watching instead of participating.

Maybe you’ve been there or maybe you think I’m a lunatic. (I won’t be offended if you think that.)

Either way, I think we’ve all faced times of transition and decision.

That’s where I am right now.

And, for me, it’s hard to know where to go when everything is colliding, when the past, present, and future are duking it out for time and attention.

How do you stay centered?

I find three things helpful:

1. Journaling

2. Reading

3. Praying

I journal a lot about my thoughts, feelings, etc.

It helps to capture my thoughts so they don’t end up controlling me.

Then I read.

I read my Bible, I read books, I read articles and blogs because that helps me gain perspective and see the bigger picture. Reading shows me that I am not alone in my struggles and that there are answers to my questions.

Lastly, I pray.

I talk to God about what’s happening in my life. A few weeks ago I wrote on the importance of prayer and how God is truly interested in our day-to-day lives. Nothing proves that to me more than in these moments of transition. The coolest part is that I’m not talking up to a ceiling, hoping that God is listening. I am confident that God not only hears me but also talks to me.

Without these three things, I would be one confused girl. That’s the truth.

I encourage you, my friend, to recognize what helps you in moments of transition and decision. Don’t wait until the pressure is on to figure it out either.

If you feel brave, share with me what helps you.

Hard Truths

I’m a bit disappointed right now. Someone I love very dearly is suffering the consequences of poor decision making. They couldn’t see beyond their situation to the bright future ahead. All that was in sight was the fallout from others’ bad choices. So much so that my friend’s ability to choose a different outcome became blurred, lost in the smoke.

Do you know what the hardest part for me is? I couldn’t help my friend.

Talking did nothing. Tough love did nothing. A great number of family and friends reached out but none of us could make the final decision and bring about a positive outcome.

Can you relate?

Have you ever been so frustrated at a friend or loved one who refuses to change despite the obvious self-destruction taking place?

It’s hard to watch someone acquiesce to second best experiences.

I apologize for being a bit worked up. My heart is aching as I think about the brokenness in my friend. And this is not a singular incident. I’m tired of watching my friends and family strike out left and right.

How about you?

I realize I’m asking a lot of questions today but it’s only because I need some answers. Strike that. I know the answers but sometimes the truth’s hard to swallow.

Here’s the truth: Blame cannot easily be laid on others when the choice has always been ours. It’s hard to watch someone falsely believe that they can’t do any better. Or for someone to know they can do better but wonder what’s the point.

This is why I’m really struggling today. I watched someone make the wrong choice. And there was nothing I could do to stop it.

Maybe you guys can help me. I’ve come to grips with the reality that it’s out of my hands. But that doesn’t make it any easier. 

Change Your Thinking, Change Your Future

How often do you think about the future?

I know that I think about the future quite frequently.

Sometimes the future is scary because I begin to plug in the variables.

I start thinking, “If I don’t change this area of my life, then this will be the result.” That’s when I get really wigged out.

Years ago, I caught a few episodes of a pretty cool show. Don’t go asking me the name of this show because I don’t remember and it wasn’t on the air long. Anyway, this health and nutrition team would show people what would happen if they didn’t change their diets. It was scary. They looked like Goodyear blimps. I’m not kidding, these people were huge! And all of this because they couldn’t give up Twinkies and Coke…

The cool thing about this show was that there was hope. This team of experts would reveal the inevitable, but then say, “Wait a minute! You can fix this!” Needless to say, a major change in diet and exercise would solve 95% of their problems.

Do you know that changing your thinking will alter your future?

Listen friends. My thinking is constantly being challenged. Just when I believe that I really understand something I find out that I don’t.

I could get mad, pitch a fit, and stay ignorant.

But why?

Why would I want to remain ignorant?

That is the most dangerous thing I can do because I will be held accountable by God for my knowledge and my ignorance! Now that’s a sobering thought.

I can hear God now.

Audra, I’m so glad that you figured this one thing out, but what about this other area? Why did you refuse to learn? Why didn’t you listen?”

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be standing speechless because I refused to open my eyes.

If I can leave you with one thought it’s this:

What would happen if you made a few changes? If the course of action seems a bit extreme now, will the end results be worth it?