Sandwich-boarding people into being Christians. Yelling at them from street corners.
Scarlet Letters. Picketing.
These things sever people from God’s love, rather than extending it.
But that’s actually not what this post is about.
We talk about how Christians tend to beat people over the head and then expect them to change, but there are others who do this, too.
Some of them want your vote. Some of them want you to sign a petition.
I’m not saying that ALL Christians, politicians, and activists do this, not by a long shot. There are plenty of people who are kind, who are bridge-builders, who are not self-righteous about their opinions, and yet are still passionate about them – these are the people who want to create a better world.
However, I’m not talking about them.
I’m talking about people who yell and bully and try to shame others into seeing things their way.
I’m talking about people who think that they can bring a person to their side by making them feel like less of a person.
Certainly, there is a time to boldly speak the truth. To passionately speak the truth.
But this can be done humbly, and whatever your cause is, please remember that.
Speak your heart, do what you must, obey your calling, and trust that God will speak to the heart of your audience.
I want to leave you with one of my favorite fables:
The Wind and the Sun
THE WIND and the Sun were disputing which was the stronger. Suddenly they saw a traveller coming down the road, and the Sun said: “I see a way to decide our dispute. Whichever of us can cause that traveller to take off his cloak shall be regarded as the stronger. You begin.” So the Sun retired behind a cloud, and the Wind began to blow as hard as it could upon the traveller. But the harder he blew the more closely did the traveller wrap his cloak round him, till at last the Wind had to give up in despair. Then the Sun came out and shone in all his glory upon the traveller, who soon found it too hot to walk with his cloak on.
Kindness effects more than severity.