I Am Heartless

As much as I hate memes, the ones most cringe-worthy are those that say, “Click like or share if you love Jesus” and other variations thereof.

So if I don’t click, I don’t love Jesus?

They’re nothing more than chain letters of old that threatened horrible stuff if I didn’t send the letter to other ten people. I don’t think Jesus is going to bar my entry into heaven because I didn’t like a specific meme on Facebook.

There’s another type of meme going around lately where it shows a picture of a child battling cancer, or an animal struggling to survive something horrendous. They all say, “Scroll past if you’re heartless. If not, say Amen.” Or some variation thereof.

I scroll past every one. I refuse to be guilted into commenting on someone’s feed, especially someone I don’t know who — it seems to me — is only looking for more likes and comments. I’m all for supporting those who are hurting and struggling, but don’t try to make me support them by telling me I’m heartless if I don’t. Provide ways I can actually help, such as donating to an organization dedicated to eradicating cancer, or providing help for families struggling to keep up with the costs of their child’s care.

To me, it’s no different than the fire-and-brimstone preachers pounding on their podiums and screaming that I’m destined for hell if I don’t repent right this instant.

It’s not attractive, and it’s not helpful. Certainly not to the people who get a thousand amens, but don’t have the money to pay for the medications their child needs to survive.

A few weeks back, we studied the book of Exodus. The Israelites reached the Red Sea, and they saw the Egyptian army overtaking them. They cried out to the Lord and wished they could return to Egypt because, “It’s better to be a slave in Egypt than a corpse in the wilderness.”

But Moses told the people, “Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the LORD rescue you today. The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again. The LORD himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.”

Then the LORD said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the people to get moving!”

Exodus 14:12-15

I laughed when I read the last line, because it seems so unexpected, and was a direct contradiction to what Moses said. But it’s also apropos to my own complaint. There are times we need to stand still and cry out to God, but there are also times we need to get moving. I’ve said it countless times before; if we want to make a difference, we need to actually do something. Typing amen and sharing Facebook memes accomplishes next to nothing.

In short, don’t try to shame me into doing something. I will act because it’s the right thing to do, and for no other reason.

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