This is my timeline of the past few days:
Saturday I see someone post an article mocking self-proclaimed Christians for being upset about the Starbucks cups. (In case you’re behind, catch up here.) I laugh, mention it to my husband, and assume that’s the last I see of it.
Sunday I see a few more. Maybe two. I really hope that’s the extent.
Yesterday my Facebook exploded. Christians and non-Christians alike mocked all those boycotting Starbucks. Non-Christians used it as a means to ridicule and further cement in their minds a view of the religious right as an ignorant, angry lot. Christians used it as a rallying cry to talk about how we need to be better and care more about the weightier matters of the word.
I have seen post after status after article after tweet about why Christians are ridiculous for boycotting Starbucks over something as trivial as a cup design. Do you know what I haven’t seen? A single Christian boycotting Starbucks over a cup design.
I’m fully willing to admit Satan is probably overjoyed at what’s taking place right now. Not over a cup. That’s ridiculous. Here’s the summary of my main three thoughts on that: 1. Starbucks didn’t have “Christmas” cups to begin with. They had snowflake cups. They took away snowflakes guys. That’s not an attack. That’s equivalent to getting highlights because you just want to try a new look. 2. I like Christmas, but it isn’t really a Biblically-ordained holiday to begin with and the celebration or lack thereof doesn’t effect your Christianity in the slightest.. 3. Did anyone think Starbucks was a Christian company? Really? (I will say that I am upset at Starbucks though, but that’s only because they close by 8:30 every night of the week in my town. That’s just crazy.) So there you go. If you’re mad, don’t be. They and their cups owe you nothing.
Here’s where I think Satan is celebrating though. Instead of being able to shine a spotlight on all the good Christianity is doing in the world today, we once again seem to have fallen into a trap of having our backs against the wall to convince the world that we’re not like the 0.0000001% who decided this was a thing to be mad about. At this very moment, there are Christians around the world doing great things. They’re feeding the homeless. They’re gathering coats in preparation to give to those in need this winter. They’re teaching the Bible and leading lost souls to Christ. There’s so much good being done in the name of God right now. And are we talking about that?
Nope. We’re talking about how we’re not like those 7 people who are upset about a cup and were somehow given Internet access.
As a reader, I’ve made my way through a decent number of books in my day. There’s a trait that you’ll never fail to notice among the best writers. They don’t tell. They show. Lewis didn’t tell us that Edmund began as a selfish, sulky boy. He showed us how he was willing to sell out his family and friends for a bit of Turkish Delight. Rowling didn’t tell us that Harry was a selfless individual who would do anything for those he loved. She showed us time and time again how he impulsively threw himself into danger to protect them. Great writers don’t tell, they show.
Christians can follow suit. We don’t need to tell the world what we’re not: a torch and pitchfork crowd who shouts “boycott” at every turn. We need to show them what we are: primarily a group of people who don’t have a clue about this whole ordeal because we’re too busy doing being about our Father’s business.
Here’s a few thoughts to leave with you:
- Take your time before you get mad. There are things worth getting upset over, but they’re few and pretty far between. Do your research and slow your role.
- Take whatever stance you want, but take a good hard look at your motives before proclaiming it’s for Christianity. There are enough battles to fight in the world without needlessly throwing another one into the mix.
- Love louder. People won’t always believe what you say, but they’re much more likely to believe what you do. Show love and grace daily.
“A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.”