Megan Oaks | @MeganCOaks
Have you ever read something and thought “I agree fully but I wish the delivery would have been a little less harsh”? Maybe you’ve listened as two friends openly discuss a matter of disagreement and walk away feeling like the person who’s opinion you most related to was overshadowed by the loudness or fast talking ability of their opponent.
I’m sure most of you have heard the saying “you attract more flies with honey than vinegar”. This is a saying that I feel many of us can benefit from. Whether it’s using social media, sharing the gospel or even dealing with marital or parental challenges.
"With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father and with it we curse human beings who have been made in God's likeness." James 3:9
Recently with the election season upon us, I’ve noticed an influx of bashing on my newsfeed. It was bound to happen obviously. I have friends who are passionate about their beliefs and passionate about the future of this country, which are both honorable causes to be passionate about. However, there are many times throughout the day where I find myself wishing their delivery was a little more sweet and smooth to digest like honey, instead of reeking of the bitterness of vinegar.
If I were to take my newsfeed as my only source of research for the upcoming elections, I would be convinced that there are absolutely no worthy candidates to serve as President. When asked who I plan to vote for and why, I would only be able to tell you who I shouldn’t be voting for. Instead of seeing people stand up for the one who is worthy, all I seem to see is finger-pointing to the one they are fearing will lead.
How true is this of our Christian walk as well? Instead of pointing to Jesus, his love, his redemption, his forgiveness; we point directly to the sin and condemn the sinner. Instead of giving nonbelievers the list reason’s why we have chosen to put our faith in Him, we have equipped them with an arsenal of all of the way’s they are failing.
We have forgotten our calling as disciples. We’ve forgotten that our Savior, by whom we take up arms to defend against any and all bigotry, is known as a friend to sinners.
Does this mean he drank with the drunk, or sat alongside the adulterer while his marriage bed was violated? Absolutely not. What it does mean is Jesus drew them to him with compassion and understanding. Even Jesus, the one and only sinless man, refused to place himself higher than the lowest of the low. He acknowledged the sin but instead of dwelling on it, he encouraged the sinner to follow him. He highlighted the good, not the bad.
How would the effectiveness of our passions change if we focused on the good, and not the bad? How many of your friends would be encouraged to look into the better candidate in this election, rather than being bombarded with reason after reason of who not to vote for? Who in your friends list is dying to hear that there is a way out of their sin, and complete forgiveness is available; instead of buying into the belief that their sin is too big for even you to love them? Encourage instead of condemn.
Love instead of hate.
Embrace instead of ignore.
It’s a fine line to walk and many times we may hop to the other side of the road, but by choosing the sweetness of honey, we can draw more bees to the hive. We can show compassion and understanding without trading in our values and beliefs.
Megan Oaks is Maryland born, North Carolina raised, currently residing in New Mexico and looking forward to retirement in East Tennessee. Married to her Earthly hero, an Airman in the Air Force and mother to their three "acorns". Recently enrolled in her first college semester at 30 years old and striving toward a degree in Rad Tech. In her spare time, which is few and far between, Megan enjoys photography, reading, following the Baltimore Ravens and reality television. Air Force wife, mother to three, and daughter of the most high King. You can contact her via Twitter at @megancoaks.