An incident which I found out about today has greatly disturbed and disappointed me! I have worked with young people for the majority of my life, and one thing I always tried to impress upon every one of them was the habit of being kind to others. When I discovered which church the incident occurred in, I was totally shocked because the church has a reputation of catering to our youth. My granddaughter wrote about what happened, and I am attaching her observation. The reason I am bringing this up again is I believe with our society going through so much violence and heartache now, we can never be too careful about our words and actions toward others. Our reactions toward what we perceive as wrong can result in a loss for God’s Kingdom!
My granddaughter’s post on Facebook:
“Not a typical post I would make and I’m Definitely not one to run to social media. But this is something that really bothered me . Adults or anyone … do not belittle a teenager or even another adult that is sitting in church.
Yes that person May have had their phone in their hand. But For instance, what if that teenager wasn’t a believer, and they chose never to come back to church because they were rubbed the wrong way.
I am a believer and It wasn’t said to me but I was rubbed the wrong way. I thought at first maybe the “adult” was trying to be a leader by telling the teenager to listen to the sermon, this adult did have a point. But my mind was quickly changed when he came behind the teenager at the end of the service and said “Maybe your phone God will save you.” No good was done. Yes phones shouldn’t have your attention during church. But that goes for anything. Your focus should be on God. Not just in church though.
And I am not one for services that make you feel good either. I love a message that will make you realize things and make you think about yourself. So this isn’t about that. But it could have been handled in a better way.
No one in church should feel judged by another person in church. My heart just hurts for anyone that has ever dealt has an experience like that. And if you have and you aren’t a believer. Talk to someone because THAT is not Christianity.”
End of her post!
As I have gotten older, I have tried to reduce the amount of “stuff” I carry in my hands. Most Sundays I have only my phone and keys, and for the past two or three years I have used my Bible App so I can take notes, etc. I had not even thought about someone thinking I was texting or doing something else. After all , I am too busy listening to what my preacher is saying to even notice what others are doing! It makes me want to stand up in church and tell our congregation that I am using my phone for the Bible App.
The thing about the situation is that it should have never happened. The adult stepping in did not know the circumstances or the whole story, but he acted with a holier than thou attitude and could possibly have driven a young person away from the church forever. He could possibly have caused a real tragedy. There is a time and place for guidance and instruction; however, my belief is that this was not an appropriate time or response. Our goal is to get people into church and make disciples of them.
My prayer is that this teenager was not permanently scarred by what happened. I am also praying that this man will think twice before doing the same thing to another person. He would be smart to pay attention to the messages he is supposed to be hearing because I have a feeling he has missed out on some vital information!