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Throw Some Glow

Throwing Shade is a slang term that was introduced in the 80’s.  By 2017 it found its way into our dictionary.    Webster defines it as a “subtle, sneering expression of contempt for or disgust with someone—sometimes verbal, and sometimes not”.   Throwing shade disrespects. It criticizes.  It undermines.

Talk shows, social media, memes, and tweets are the perfect platform for throwing shade.  From politicians to comedians, this slang expression has been woven into the fabric of our society. Insulting others has become an artform. We throw shade at everything and everyone.  The effects are devastating. The outcome is divisive and leaves a wake of collateral damage.

However, I have observed another form of scornful slang.  It’s  a pseudo expression: “sanctified shade.”   (not a real term). It is the practice of believers calling each other out in ways that violate the priestly petition of Jesus for unity:  “that they may be one, even as we are one”. (John 17:22). Like its counterpart, sanctified shade also uses words and actions. It verbally attacks, it severs ties.  It seeks to discredit those with whom it disagrees.  From the outside it looks holy. Whether it’s about eschatology, pneumatology, ecclesiology, or issues of faith and practice, those who employ it, see themselves as “defenders of the faith, standard bearers of the truth.”

How about throwing some glow?  Throwing some honor instead of disrespect.  Some kindness instead of criticism.  How about posting a you tube video applauding someone’s ministry?   Blessing instead of bashing. Affirm whenever possible. Disagree with respect and humility (btw, you could be wrong)  Pray for them.

Throw some glow using Paul’s words as a point of reference:

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (Eph 4:29)

What about people who are being deceived?  What about false doctrines that are being preached?  There are plenty of warnings; from Jesus, Paul, John, and Jude.  Paul even writes a couple letters to instruct Timothy on how to deal with the erroneous teachings in Ephesus. Shouldn’t these errant teachers be called out? Shouldn’t they be held accountable?  They will.

Jesus was asked the same question in the parable of the wheat and tares in Mt 13:  In the story, a farmer plants a field of wheat.  At midnight, an enemy plants weeds among the wheat.  They grow up together.  When it becomes apparent, the question is asked, Now what?  Should we yank out the weeds? Throw some sanctified shade at them?  Not so fast, says Jesus.

‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them.  Let both grow together until the harvest. I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’”

Yes, there is a time to confront, esp as it concerns the essential Gospel.  (See Galatians 6:1/ Matthew 18 for some pointers.)  Some may even throw shade at this blog. However, as believers I strongly urge you to throw some glow toward each other.  The end of Jesus’ prayer in John 17 tells us why:  the world is watching – so that they will know that you have sent me.   There’s no need for sanctified shade. The Lord of the Harvest will do the separating.

Nicholas

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