Have you ever used something in a way it wasn’t designed to be used? I often find myself getting creative with how I use certain items around the house when in a pinch—I have even used a shoe as a hammer instead of going and buying one (insert facepalm here). A lot of objects have warnings on them to hopefully deter people like me from using them improperly, but what about things we don’t get a warning about?
Last month, as protests were springing up all around this nation and the world, I spoke with a few friends about how their relationships with social media had changed. And every one of them I spoke to felt shame. One friend shared the story that she had removed her social media accounts from her phone, yet she still had people in her life texting her, outraged that she wasn’t posting anything.
That’s when it hit me: I don’t think we’re using social media properly.
We live in an age where divisive and reaction-inducing posts are rewarded—is that the space where healing and reconciliation happen?
Social media and the internet can be an immensely powerful tool that we can use for many different things. And seeing how these platforms have allowed people to mobilize, organize, and share their stories is absolutely incredible. But I hope it’s not the only place that issues of racism are being discussed. I pray that the church is not being shamed into silence or peer-pressured into speaking, but that we are being the church every single day. And I hope that our lives, especially if we are white, aren’t characterized by speaking and judging but by listening and loving.
If you’re unsure how to practically engage in issues of racial justice, here are a few things you can do outside of the digital world. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but is a good place for us to start.
Intercede for the nation, your community, and your own heart. It’s easy to think that racial reconciliation is someone else’s problem, but that flies in the face of the entire Bible. Because of the finished work of Jesus, we are called to be reconcilers, not because of what we can do in our own strength, but because of who he is.
There are many, many books out there on the topics of race and racial reconciliation. In fact, last month, I shared a few great resources on reconciliation that I highly recommend picking up that discuss this topic from a Christian perspective. Advocates, Half Breed, and The Dream King are all specifically focused on racial reconciliation. I also believe that books like Emotionally Healthy Spirituality, The Search for Significance, and Fervent will also go a long way in achieving our desire for reconciliation with others.
We all have sin in our lives, no matter the color of our skin. I pray that this is a time of repentance for the church, that we would individually examine our hearts with God and experience his radical forgiveness and freedom in our own lives. The world desperately needs Jesus, but we also need him. How can we share about grace, forgiveness, and restoration if we don’t first experience these things for ourselves?
Do you have relationships with those who have had a different experience than you? The beauty of the body of Christ is that we are diverse and reflective of an infinitely unique creator. Because we’re all so different, there’s a huge potential for disunity, thankfully we serve one God who can unite us all, no matter how different we may appear on the outside. What an immense opportunity for unity we have!
Social media can be an incredible tool, but that’s not the only tool in our toolkit, nor is it where life happens. I don’t believe that social media is the space where all of our problems will be solved, though it can be a microphone to reflect the individual heart change in each one of us. Let’s focus on honoring God in our thoughts, actions, and relationships and pray for the wisdom for how to steward social media well.
What do you think about social media? How do you use this tool?
How can you engage in racial reconciliation today?
To go Deeper: Read Technology: Thermostat or Thermometer?,
The Ministry of Reconciliation
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I love this post and your suggestions! I really like how you said that we should be listening and not judging right now.
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Thank you so much! Listening is really hard (I’ve been challenging myself to do more of that), but I think it goes a long way.