What difference does it make?

What difference does what make?   That is the question of the day.

Daily, sometimes multiple times a day, we are presented with posts or emails asking us to share information (mis-information most of the time).   This information runs the gamut from being the ‘Let’s do something nice’ to posts about what someone supposedly said or did.     Why is this an issue you may ask and what difference does it make if you share it without verifying?

How often do we stop to ask ourselves if what we are about to share is really true and what the possible effects of sharing it might be?   Up until recently I only really thought about it if it was a claim that was either too good to be true, something I wanted to get involved in or something that didn’t quite measure up.

When we do stop to think about it do we check it out and see if it’s really true or do we just blindly share and not spare another thought?

Here is something for you to think about.   Words and pictures once shared can never be taken back.   They spread like wildfire, going out of control so fast your head won’t have time to spin.    So what’s the big deal you may ask.

Let’s start by looking at some relatively minor effects.  Everything that is shared takes up space.  It resides on a server somewhere for posterity.   Space is not free, someone somewhere (Advertising anyone?) is paying for that space.  It clutters up inboxes and newsfeeds, sometimes to the point you can’t read the stuff you are really interested in.  Ok, I can see where that might be a problem, but is that a really big deal?

That might not be a ‘really’ big deal, but other things are.   First and foremost, how is it going to affect the person, organization or group that is the subject of the email or post?   The effects on these range from the positive to the absolutely horrible.  Sometimes it gets a business or group noticed which can be a good thing.   However this is typically not the most common outcome.  In cases of ‘Let’s do something Good’, here is an example.   There is a post going around about sending cards to ‘Any Wounded Soldier’ at Walter Reed hospital.   This program was discontinued in 2006 for administrative and security concerns.   These cards and gifts are returned to the sender and of course Walter Reed has to pay for the shipping.   Plus the costs to pay someone to deal with all of this.   At a time when the medical care our soldiers are receiving is suspect, we can’t afford for hospitals to have to spend precious dollars on paying staff and postage to handle this.

What about posts about individuals?   Recognition can be great but in appropriate doses.   Just ask celebrities what happens when they become ‘famous’.   Think stalkers, over agressive fans, etc.   It can take people living a normal life and put them into a spotlight they don’t want and that can jeopardize them and their family.

And what about those posts that say negative things about an organization, group or individual?   The backlash is horrendous and many times goes way beyond what is appropriate for the ‘crime’.  But what if it’s not true?   People lose their jobs, family and sometimes their lives.

Are you willing to contribute to this?   Think about it and put yourself in their shoes?

I ask all of my readers, verify before you share,  you very well could be saving someones job, family or life.

What about

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Christianity, what’s in it for me?

I see so many posts and hear so many people asking the question why should anyone become a Christian.   They aren’t asking because they don’t understand the message of what Jesus did for them, they aren’t asking because they don’t understand what it might  mean for them.

They are asking if it’s worthwhile because what they see in other Christians does not give them any hope for anything better.   If we as Christians do not live like we are Christians, if we don’t live like we have the eternal promise of Salvation, if we don’t live like we believe that Jesus is our Rock, our comforter and our provider, why would anyone want to live like us.

If our lives do not reflect the joy and promise of eternal salvation, why would anyone give up what they perceive as the only pleasure they can attain to become a Christian?

We are called to be in the world, but not OF the world.   You cannot behave like everyone else, have the same standards as everyone else, not be discerning in the type of music and entertainment you watch or listen to, not be modest in your dress and still claim that you have Jesus and the Holy Spirit in your heart and soul guiding you.   It’s not that you are forced to give up what you have, it’s that with Jesus and the Holy Spirit acting in your life, your desires change,  you want different things.

You MUST live with an external, visible difference from the rest of the world.

Does this mean we won’t go through suffering and difficulty?   Not at all, Christians are not promised an easy road, as a matter of fact the road to heaven is narrow and hard.   We will have suffering the same as any man.   The difference is we have a comforter, a rock to cling to, a tower of strength outside of ourselves that support us as we navigate troubled waters.

We have a Heavenly Father who listens to us.   Whether his answer to our prayer is to heal, or ease our circumstances or allow us to go through the deep waters and bring us out on the other side stronger and with wisdom, he hears our prayers.   He never leaves us, nor forsakes us.

Brothers and Sisters, let us live with the promise of tomorrow shining in our attitudes and behaviors.   Let us be a light to a darkened world.