A few years ago, I received a text message from a young man who was trying to organize a picnic. I did not know him very well because I grew up with his mother, so there is a large gap in our ages. He obtained a list of phone numbers from his mother and sent a group text to several individuals with the details of the upcoming picnic. I was already aware of the picnic, so I was not surprised when receiving the text. Though I did not know everyone on the distribution list I knew many of them, and I knew they were Christians. The conversation started out great with the organizer announcing the date and time of the picnic. The conversation then went downhill when one of the recipients asked, “Who the bleep are you?” They apparently did not recognize the organizers name, email address or phone number. The organizer then responded with the same response, “Who the bleep are you?” The next thing I knew there was a flurry of responses filled with cuss words. I thought to myself why do we have to read all of this profanity; we are trying to get updated on a picnic! None of the individuals involved seemed to be angry. The flow of the conversation demonstrated that they seemed to use the words as a part of their normal speech. Tired of reading it I sent a reply back to the group asking them to stop cussing. As you would guess, my request caused me to be the target of profanity-filled insults.
Later that evening I told a friend what happened, and we had a lengthy discussion about the use of profanity and Christian character. My friend was adamant about the fact that she would not let something like that continue either. She screamed that she would attack Satan like the devil he is! Besides laughing at her animated response, I understood her point, but asked why was I the only one to speak up? She said, “Duh because they didn’t want to get attacked like you did!” She yelled, “Find me one Christian, who has not been ridiculed and attacked by family, friends and coworkers for speaking up?” She was right, but I said, “So what!”
Yes, I was hurt, but mainly I was disappointed because no one came to my defense. I could get over the insults. I had trouble understanding why my fellow Christian brothers and sisters let me hang out to dry. We all have to decide for ourselves what we would do when something needs to be said. I know from experience that speaking up is not easy. It requires a thick skin, and a willingness to be the outsider. Not long after this incident, I ran into a few of the individuals who were on the distribution list and witnessed it firsthand. I noticed that they seemed uncomfortable around me. A few even seemed embarrassed, though I am not sure why. Maybe it was because they did not speak up. As you would guess, I stopped getting the updates about the picnic, but it has not stopped me from speaking up.