We have become a generation of point scorers and “mic droppers”. Don’t you think, looking over the news, your social media feeds, even your lunch tables at work? Nobody seems to want to get to the truth. People just want to score points.
It’s more important to be right than to be happy these days. It’s more important to shout down your imagined opponent than come to a solution. It is more important to immediately dismiss information we learn if it contradicts our ideas than to analyze that information.
We then vote for people who most closely align with our idea of what is right, and then demand that they don’t discuss facts with THEIR opponents to come up with thoughtful solutions to real problems we face every day. Then we write a ton of op eds that amount to “Won’t someone please think of the children?!” when yet another awful thing happens.
Then we vote out those people and pick another set and go back and forth, back and forth, for all time.
“I thought you were writing a series about Lent, KJ,” you say, “except for last week where you were obviously super busy doing church stuff.” Well, this incessant desire to #MicDrop happens to be a Lenten topic.
The behavior of humanity is so far removed from what Christ says in today’s Gospel that I sometimes wonder how he can still love us, but of course he does. He sees beyond the vitriol and pride in our minds into the fear and sadness in our hearts.
Perhaps on this second Monday of Lent, we can take a minute out of our demand to be right and take in Christ’s teaching from Luke 6:36-38.
Jesus said to his disciples:
“Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
“Stop judging and you will not be judged.
Stop condemning and you will not be condemned.
Forgive and you will be forgiven.
Give and gifts will be given to you;
a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing,
will be poured into your lap.
For the measure with which you measure
will in return be measured out to you.”
What are we withholding from people we find annoying? Are we refusing to spend time with family who contradict everything we believe? Are we shunning a classmate who seems kind of weird? Are we blocking actual people we know in real life because we don’t agree with what they post on Facebook?
Why are we doing that? Why is Love secondary to our sense of correctness? The Pharisees wanted Christ to be killed because he wasn’t “correct”, but he loved them anyway (though he did call them a few choice names). How would emulating this great love change the country, even the world?
CNN would probably be less shouty. Maybe.