The Outrage Machine

Recently, while scrolling through my Twitter feed, I read a great tweet that stood out to me. The tweet from Jon Acuff said “My favorite voices are those who can admit their politician isn’t 100% good & other party isn’t 100% bad. There’s more gray than we admit.” One would think this would be a welcome thought in today’s climate, and at its core this tweet appears very benign. Yet I took a moment and read some of the comments people made towards this tweet. There were some people with rational comments, but many people came in with their extremely strong opinions and outrage. It was shocking to me that people felt the need to correct such an obvious statement.

His tweet and people’s response is a microcosm for the current world we find ourselves in. Our country appears to be waiting for the next thing to be outraged about and part of me can understand it. There are various circumstances and comments that happen which outrage me.  It confuses me that our collective outrage and metaphorical picketing has resulted in a deconstruction of healthy relationships throughout our nation. Our differences have created a divide, which many of us refuse to cross, and if you find yourself in the category of people who get outraged easily, then I would love to give you a few questions to think about.

  1. Where do you find your peace?

The world has changed and Christians are becomingly more and more marginalized. I understand that, and experience it regularly. Being marginalized should not become a disruption to the peace you have. Our peace comes from the author of peace. Our peace flows from our understanding of who Jesus is, and then in turn we show that same peace to others. This is why Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers.” We need to extend peace wherever we are whether it be online or in person. We don’t extend peace because circumstances are peaceful. We extend peace because God first demonstrated peace to us long before we deserved it.

  1. What did Jesus fight for?

If you will look at Jesus life, you will notice that he fought for a few things. He fought for the ones who couldn’t fight for themselves. He fought for the poor, the widows, the marginalized, and the Samaritans. Jesus had a kingdom perspective and not an earthly perspective. Recently while I was at a conference, one of the speakers said, “If you are more worried about this earthly kingdom than the heavenly kingdom, then you are worried about the wrong kingdom.” Jesus desperately fought for others to know that he loved them despite their sins and wrong opinions. Do you fight as hard to show people love as you do to express your opinion?

  1. How can you engage others effectively?

I understand this is a pie-in-the-sky, utopian society pipe dream, but what would happen if our country refused to let our differences continually separate us? Rather we came together for healthy, loving conversations. I’m not saying we all have to pretend to agree. That’s crazy. I wouldn’t want everybody to agree with me, but I would like to be able to have healthy, honest conversations with people who disagree with me. If you are a Christian, your starting point should be a conversation filled with a perfect blend of grace and truth. This is what Jesus did with Nicodemus (John 3:16 anybody?) and with the woman at the well.  Like Jesus did with others who disagreed we need to sit down and have honest dialogue.

So let’s end the outrage machine, and let’s start to have conversations with others. Who do you need to reach out to in order to start having conversations? Like momma always said, “It’s rarely about what you say, but it’s often about how you say it.” Let’s start having conversations with others in a way that builds others up instead of just tearing each other down. Let’s put the outrage machine away and never let it come back.


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