Devotional

A Gaslighting Society

Photo of a young man with sellotape covering his mouth

Unfortunately, we are in such an unhealthy society at this point that the majority of people are being gaslighted by their peers or the general masses. Anytime you have an opposing opinion or a different point of view you are often berated for it and then if you react after being attacked for your own mindset then you are accused of being aggressive or a maniac.

If you are a Christian you are expected to be a passive overly sweet doormat that just takes a beating without saying a word in response. Many people in the Bible were able to do that. Others in the Bible showed their humanity quite clearly (cough cough Peter).

We are expected to accept everyone but never speak about the Word. Otherwise, we are imposing on the free will of others. We are considered bullies, oppressive, judgemental, or even outright insulted, simply for speaking the truth.

We are accosted regularly and the term “holy roller” is meant to be an insult. When we react, even in love or to point out logic, we are considered to be attacking others. While it isn’t just Christians undergoing this type of treatment, this is from my perspective so I can only reflect on my own experience.

Social media is the worst! People are bold with their semblance of anonymity. I had a coworker get offended just because I mentioned Chick-fil-A once. She said I was supporting the oppression of her people. Really? I can’t even talk about food? I mean, they marinate their chicken in pickle juice! How can I silence such awesomeness?

The sad thing is that it isn’t just non-believers throwing shots at Christians. We tend to do it to one another as well. While the Bible says we can recognize our fellow brethren by their fruit and their words, I now see the body gauging one another on a much more frivolous level. If you wear a mask or don’t wear a mask, if you are vaccinated or not vaccinated. If you are a Democrat or a republican. The shallowness stretches endlessly.

The frequent attacks and then justification of it is quite frankly unhealthy. Instigating arguments and separation and then calling foul when someone reacts is toxic, plain, and simple. Rather than seeking out a space to pick a fight with someone, pause and ask yourself- “Am I responding from a place of hurt?” “Have I been conditioned to feel this way or does this genuinely spark anger in me for a legitimate reason?”

Someone having a differing opinion or even lifestyle should not elicit anger in you. It also should not pose a reason for an attack or to become offended. Maturity can handle differences with grace. I heard someone on a podcast say that we as Christians need to learn to deliver Grace with one hand and Justice with the other. Somehow we have convinced ourselves that defending our opinion is justice. The masses believe that if you do not make the same choices that they do then you deserve to be attacked, belittled, and isolated. 

Again, this is a toxic mindset to have. Anytime we are imposing our ideals on another it is not only unhealthy but often can be abusive. Spending your time and energy in an attempt to control another should never wear the label of love. We need to reexamine not only our motives and actions but our very definitions of the things we so proudly display in our lives. 

If you say you are speaking the truth in love, can you define what love is? If you are concerned that another person is heading for disaster, can you define concern? What are the meanings of Justice and Grace these days? I ask myself these questions as often as I ask others. If we are not questioning ourselves then we are growing stagnant and that is never beneficial to anyone.

Can we challenge ourselves to set new parameters for love, justice, grace, mercy, and equality? I think a revolution is needed and that most certainly should begin on an individual level. Join me?

I am a writer and an ordained minister. I grew in very toxic environments. After prolonged intensive abuse I now have C-PTSD. I have overcome so many obstacles and been able to heal and grow by facing my past and processing it in a healthy way. I am still a work in progress but I have come farther than I ever thought would be possible.

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