One of the United States is called the Show Me state. I don’t know what that means in context but I’d like to think it has to do with demonstrating action. I like that idea.
Action is antequated these days. Why act when you can feel enough satisfaction winning a point on Facebook while driving your opponent into the digital mud? Now that’s satisfaction, right? Don’t deny it. We’ve all felt it, whether it’s the pride we have when a friend posts something to demolish another point of view or we do it ourselves.
But to quote the song, “I can’t get no satisfaction” from these wordy attacks. Not really. In fact, they only lead to a false view of Christianity from outside the church and divisiveness inside. So that satisfaction quickly turns to discouragement.
With that said, here’s my attempt to be exhorting instead of divisive on the issue of Syrian refugees. I’ll try to keep it short.
1. If you feel convicted to help these particular refugees, go and do it. Or at the very least dig into your wallets and send money to those who are helping.
2. Remember to separate government and personal service. For those calling on the government to bring in refugees, this, according to FBI, CIA, and many other officials, increases risks of attacks on this homeland from the inside. If you promote bringing them here, remember that you are not only putting your own life at risk, but those of all Americans. I’m not saying its right or wrong, just saying to be ready to live with that.
3. Remember that whether refugees come here or not or where they go is largely out of our control as citizens. So all of our shouting does not do a lot to change things. What does change things is each one of us answering the specific call God has given us. We can’t tell every Christian to be the same. Some are missionaries to Mexico. Some to the Philippines. Some to the old lady next door. That’s awesome. That’s how everyone can be reached, because we all have convictions to different people and groups.
So in conclusion, saying what you believe is good. Even saying it boldly as long as it is in love. But make sure that whatever level you are using to preach on social media, you are matching that with corresponding actions. It’s a tough challenge. And I have failed it many times. But when I envision all the posts people are sharing about providing help to these refugees and then think of each one of these people actually DOING something about these refugees, then I think …. Wow! If all the tweets became real people going and doing and sharing the gospel with the refugees I think the world would be blown away by the glory of God.
Missouri’s nickname is The Show Me State. There are several stories concerning the origin of the “Show Me” slogan. The most widely known story gives credit to Missouri’s U.S. Congressman Willard Duncan Vandiver for coining the phrase in 1899. During a speech in Philadelphia, he said:
“I come from a state that raises corn and cotton and cockleburs and Democrats, and frothy eloquence neither convinces nor satisfies me. I am from Missouri. You have got to show me.”
The phrase is now used to describe the character of Missourians – not gullible – conservative and unwilling to believe without adequate evidence.