I watched him give his remarks. Heartfelt. Authentic. I connected to what he was saying and was impressed with his speech. I was ready to say so until I saw all the Twitter commentary. Then the talking heads weighed in. Criticism instead of praise. “All a big show – not at all believable,” another remarked. So I stayed quiet.
She did an excellent job. Such enthusiasm. Funny in the right places and inspirational in others. So engaging. I was transfixed. I started to give my effusive praise until the others talked louder. “Completely over the top,” one chastised. “You can’t use humor in these things,” the other countered. I stood there stunned. Had we been in the same place?
Have you experienced this?
Have you done this?
We live in an age where everyone has an opinion.
This isn’t me pointing fingers. Lord knows, I have plenty of them myself.
But in real-time we get deluged by all these shouting voices. It’s on the news. Radio. Facebook. Television. Twitter. Everywhere we turn, someone is opining on something. Oh, and it’s not just opinions. It’s negative opinions. Harsh criticism. Bashing of one sort or another. The Republicans hate the Democrats and vice versa. The atheists hate the church and vice versa. The proponents of Principle A hate the proponents of Principle B and vice versa. It’s not just polite disagreement, it’s vitriol.
Then it goes beyond that. Folks that aren’t even advocating anything. I watched Jay Leno’s last show on Friday night and was moved by his closing remarks. I happened to look down at my iPhone and a shocking Twitter-stream. While some folks were saying, “Good job, Jay,” there was an entirely different segment bashing him for one thing or another. Here’s a guy sharing about losing his mother, his father, and his brother, and there are folks shredding him.
WHAT ARE WE DOING?
Then, we as individuals find ourselves scared to even voice an opinion because we might look “foolish.” Stupid… Well, I really liked the State of the Union but what if it was actually terrible. What if someone disagrees with me. I was proud of that veteran honored, but what if everyone else just sees it as a ploy. I guess I ought not speak up. I don’t want to look like an idiot.
It makes me want to scream.
When did we all get so scared? When did we all care what random people think of us? When did we go silent?
This is what I know:
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be acceptable in your sight,
O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. Psalm 19
The words of my mouth should be PLEASING another version says. Every word that comes out of my mouth should be something I would be willing to say in front of God. Or my grandmother.
It’s an old childhood adage: If you can’t say anything nice, then don’t say anything at all.
So shut off the talking heads even if it means pulling the plug on your television. Shut down the criticizers and antagonists. Even if it means staying off of Twitter. Shut out the yellers and screamers that having nothing nice to say. Even if it means your radio only has your prescreened tunes piping through the speakers. Garbage in, garbage out friends. Let’s shut this down. If folks stop listening, then maybe we can get them to stop talking.
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4