Over two decades ago, country singer Lee Ann Womack released a song titled I’ll Think of A Reason Later. The gist of the song is that a woman finds out her ex-boyfriend is engaged. Although she can’t find anything wrong with the other woman, she decides she hates her. Obviously, the only reason is because the other woman is marrying her ex. Since that song was released, a little thing called social media was developed. And on these various platforms, people gives others plenty of reasons to dislike them – or, rather, we choose to dislike people because they aren’t like us. It used it to be that people didn’t really talk about politics or religion, but these days that is just about all anyone talks about it – I certainly do my share. Through social media, I have found that some (many?) people can be pretty intolerant of anyone who doesn’t agree with them. Anyone who doesn’t believe, feel, or think like them. We hear about echo chambers, and it seems plenty of people want to stay in them. While there is nothing wrong with spending time with like-minded people, there is something wrong with deciding you “hate” those who don’t think like you. When you have a problem with everyone who isn’t like you, the problem may be with you. (The same is true for me.) Specifically for Christians, we need to remember several important points:
- We can’t expect non-Christians to act like Believers. Instead, we should be praying for them and reaching out to them in love. We are not anyone’s Holy Spirit, and we need to stop acting like we are. Instead, we should point people to Jesus Christ and His life-saving message.
- All Christians are in different stages of their relationship with the Lord. It’s obvious that people need more biblically solid discipleship. Encourage fellow Believers to get active in Bible believing/preaching churches and Christ centered Bible studies. Instead of trying to convince and convict people how they should believe and act, simply point them to the Word of God and allow the Holy Spirit to move in them. Love people and never compromise the truth.
- When we mistreat people – online or in person – we are harming our witness as Christ followers. None of us is perfect, and there will be times when we fail or fall down (I certainly do), but we can and should get back up and focus more on being kind rather than on being right (while also standing up for truth as the Lord leads.)
Lee Ann Womack sings that she will think of a reason for hating her ex-boyfriend’s fiancee later. Instead of looking for reasons to hate others, we should look for reasons to love them. We should focus on what we have in common as members of the human race that God created and called “very good.” God created us for relationship with Him and with others, and if we focus on our differences and what we don’t like about people who aren’t like us, our relationships suffer. So, reach out to someone who isn’t like you today. Who knows – you may find that you like them more than you think.