Friday, May 7 2021 - 4:50 PM
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Matters of the Heart

Social media debates have a way of sucking you in. Maybe not at first, or even intentionally, but somehow they bait you out of curiosity. Although I try to stay clear of political or religious debates on social media, I couldn’t help but scroll back to reread one particular paragraph. I wanted to make sure that I’d read my friend’s post correctly, and what I read stunned me.

This particular post was the retelling of when my friend went to church and was pulled aside for her apparel. A lady took her in front of a full-length mirror and commented on how unacceptable her attire was. This young woman retold her experience with obvious pain as she stated that the woman made remarks on her long dress, deeming it not fit for church because it was too shapely. Not only was she embarrassed by such an encounter, but she also admitted that confusion surfaced, as she thought her outfit was not inappropriate.

Handle With Care

After such a humiliating encounter, she concluded that it’s important to approach others with caution, especially if our words appear to criticize their actions. She mentioned that her entire spiritual well-being felt overshadowed by a cloud of embarrassment and shame.

As I scrolled through the comments, I was taken aback and disappointed with several of the responses that I saw. Not only were some of the remarks unfeeling, but they were written with harsh criticism in response to my friend’s humiliation. As Christians, several people responded that we need to point out each other’s flaws, especially if it’s apparel deemed unsuitable for public gatherings. These comments gave me an unpleasant feeling, as I did not feel a sense of Christlike love toward this woman.

As I scrolled down further, others stated that such critical and unfeeling comments from so-called Christians were the very reasons they steered clear of Christianity. A post that was meant to give insight resulted in an argument about unsuitable apparel in the church. The debate ended with two sides arguing about modesty vs. kindness, and my heart grew heavy after reading the comments.

As Christians, we’re supposed to represent a loving Heavenly Father through our actions and words. But how many times, (myself included), have we passed judgment instead? This isn’t to say that we don’t make mistakes because we all do as imperfect humans. But how are we representing Christ? Even if we are concerned for others, do our actions portray kindness and love, criticism, and harsh judgment?

We all Struggle

Wherever we are in our spiritual journey, all of us naturally struggle. The question is, do we focus on our spiritual walk, or is our attention directed toward the imperfections of others? While our concern is perhaps well-meant, we must deal with our spirituality and avoid possibly humiliating others or finding fault. If we focus on our journey and allow God to take control, others will see Christ shine in us.

“The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7, NIV).

If you enjoyed this, you might like, About My Heart | The Gift of Kindness

Madeleine Lowe writes from Indianapolis.

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About Madeleine Lowe

Madeleine Lowe

writes from Indiana.

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