Sifted – January 26, 2022 (26/365)

I’ve been cultivating a habit in the recent days, of systematically checking all the accounts I have on the internet every morning. Some of these accounts are on social media, and I’ve also recently gotten into setting up accounts and being active on what I call ‘alt-SocMed’; I suppose, based on my upbringing and current mindset, you can call these right-leaning, conservative networks.

I involved myself more and more in said networks, from looking around and following prominent personalities that have made the shift, to slowly liking, and then sharing posts, and then also making comments.

I’ve realized all this time I’ve defaulted to a mindset that would not be stepping on anyone’s toes, but being prominent nonetheless: it’s an entire lifestyle which I believed was superior to the ‘Us Vs Them’ mentality, one rooted on the reality that I preach – that of Christ and His finished work.

This said reality proclaims that we can listen to both sides and respond gracefully, knowing that we are not easily swayed by finite pleasures and pains; We are not easily swayed, indeed, because by default we operate out of the overwhelming love of God, seen through Christ and His finished work. The Rock on whom we stand is also an overflowing River.

And, sure, that seems to be the belief I will keep (as I believe Christ keeps me), as I keep saying, until the end of time and beyond.

The reason why I had this realization is because I also noticed that in communities where I feel ‘safe’, I could go ahead and swim closer to shore, or more specifically, I can swim closer to the surface – posting my thoughts on politics, religion, and the other things that may divide us, knowing that I would not be hated on by the network or its administrators.

So for a moment this morning, I tried to indulge in this said ‘Us Vs Them’ mentality, by way of posting something related to the politics here in the Philippines.

Just a bit of context before I continue: ABL originally stood for ‘Anyone But L’, a group on Facebook that rallied under a banner proclaiming that they would rather vote for anyone else but L in this coming 2022 Presidential Elections. (I’m sorry but I’m not even saying her name here). The group gained massive support on the Social Media platform, but it was mass-reported and taken down, only to re-surface again and again. The people who did the mass-reporting also resorted to ‘hijacking’ the group by way of coming up with their own meaning to the acronym, calling themselves ‘Angat Buhay L/hat’, literally Uplifting All Lives.

This is what I had on my draft.

“They tried silencing ABL. Then they tried hijacking ABL.

I like how the troll farms (and their masters/financers) placed such significant resources and focus against ABL.

To think how we can get them to react with decent phrase. Now, if we come up with our country’s version of Let’s Go Brandon, they are going to lose their minds.”

It felt so good to type this, because I felt it was a fresh – albeit hostile – perspective. I mean, if we could piss ‘them’ off with such a friendly motto, how much more can we drive them crazy with a more offensive battle cry?

It really felt as if this was such a good idea… but as always, I still felt hesitant to share it. Because as I was composing all of it, I couldn’t help but think, are we really going against L? Is it really L that we ought to be focusing our energy on? Or should we go after the people behind her?

All this time I was gently reminded that we do not battle against flesh and blood, but against the powers and principalities of this world.

So in other words, I would not go against the people, but I would go straight to the mindset and groupthink that has them acting and reacting the way they do. This is why I am realizing slowly, and accepting day by day that a good amount of my time will continue to be spent in promoting God’s everlasting love… and for reasons of this post, it’s to promote God’s perfect love to cast out the root of all the hatred, polarization and anxiety – fear.

It was good to ‘step away’ from the belief set I default to… but I realized here, that no matter how ‘far’ I think I am, there is no distance to calculate – for as we have the mind of Christ, we understand that we are never far away from Him, and even if we think we step away from Him, the truth of the matter is we are literally infused with Christ… Meaning we bring Him wherever we go, and He brings us wherever He goes.

His finished work has guaranteed that He is that close to us that, as the song goes, it’s His blood that flows through our veins.

And as we jump from verse to chorus, the song goes, ‘I’m no longer a slave to sin, I am a child of God’…

I am reminded that Christianity is not just a belief set or mindset I default to… but no matter how any of that changes, the truth of the matter is that Christ paid such a huge price to save me – and the salvation that He gives one and all who would believe in Him is far more than a ‘Go to heaven after you die’ card… No, I see through all this that Christ HIMSELF is our Salvation.

We don’t ‘go to heaven’. And what does that even mean? It’s far more than just clouds in the sky with angels and harps and white and sunshine. Simply put, heaven is eternity.

And Christ brought eternity to us, by His birth and death. Christ brought us to eternity, by His resurrection and ascension. By laying His life down as a sacrifice His righteousness was transferred to us, and our sin was transferred to Him. The way I see it now – and this is subject to renewal – is that by exchange we have been brought as close to Christ as we would ever be, much that He has become our literal identity.

Christ is our identity. Therefore, it is inevitable that we project Christ, we project His eternal love, no matter how deep we choose to swim, or no matter how shallow we bring ourselves to think.

As I said yesterday, the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases. And because it keeps going, it keeps flowing, and as it flows, it is seen in all we do – whether we are seen or hidden, whether anyone hears us or not – The life we have in Christ – who is Christ – flows.

And this, no matter what ABL stands for.

Much ado about a post, but we’ve come full circle and realized this:

God will never, never let me go… and I am thankful.

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