Noisy Gongs and Clanging “Symbols”

If you don’t watch the news, don’t listen to the radio, haven’t looked at a computer or a newspaper recently, and aren’t on social media of any kind, you may walk away unscathed and oblivious.  Come back tomorrow for Finer Things.  😉  As for the rest of you?

Ugh.  It is so loud in here!

I hear you.  I hear all of you trying to shout over each other.  Making your point heard and your stance known.  Your well-intentioned certainties trampling over kindness and manners all in the name of “the truth.”  Liberty and Justice for all.

I hear you, but I’m not listening, because you’re obnoxious.

And?  I call bull.

My Jesus is the God of compassion.  He sees right through your equal signs and your no-equal signs and your equal signs made into crosses and your eye-rolling arguments and your uneducated rhetoric and all the dadgum noise.

He knows your heart and your purpose, but would he recognize your screeching voice?  Tone it down a little!

Meaningful, insightful discussions can be enjoyed with calm, quiet voices.  I promise.  I know, because I’m in the middle of one with a dear friend.  We disagree.  We explain.  We learn.  Slowly.  Quietly.  Respectfully.  It can be done!

Stand up for what you believe in.  Of course!  But stand up with respect for your fellow man.  Love for your friends.  Compassion for the misunderstood, and quiet humility laced with heaping grace because I don’t care who you are, you’re not in heaven yet.  Maybe… just maybe… you don’t know it all.  (I certainly don’t!)

I do not care if you are right.  I will never know if God Himself is directing your words, because I can’t hear past the noisy gongs and clanging symbols.


Does social media sometimes feel a little loud to you?  Oh, and please don’t bring the debate into my Finer Things home.  That’s not what this is about.


  1. Sigh… you saw me quote Corinthians on FB, right? I agree with you to the core on all the YELLING and NOISE. The name-calling and insinuations, from both sides, hurt me. I am confident and comfortable with where I stand, but, oh, my heart hurts. 🙁

  2. I have not been listening to any of the news in the gay marriage debate because of the strife going on involved in it. It is very disheartening to say the least but this is not our home. The Enemy is the author of strife. This is a spiritual battle so we must continually put on our full armor of the Lord…letting the Word of God dwell in us richly, praying for our leaders, and walking in love.

  3. AMEN to you!!

  4. I completely agree with all of the NOISE! I live in California, and I’m not sure, but I believe it is worse here than almost anywhere else. I understand it is a heated subject but what happened to people having civilized discussions?

  5. Amen! I was just thinking yesterday, “Where is Jesus in all of this?” I’ve not entered into the debate, because I hate debating and feel it rarely, if ever, amounts to anything, especially the way it’s being done right now. It’s awesome that you have a friend who is willing to be respectful with you so you can have a profitable discussion. How do we point people to Jesus in this issue?

    • I shy from debate, too, mostly because there is precious little in this life that I am 100% certain of. Well… that and heated debates make me cry. Ha!

  6. Such a good post! Thanks for speaking it well!

  7. Unfortunately I think social media encourages the noise because the accountability of having to look whoever you’re “yelling” at in the eye is gone. We so often forget that that person we are criticizing or tearing down or simply disagreeing with is a real live human whom we have the ability to wound, sometimes for a lifetime.

  8. Margaret says:

    Isn’t it a little preachy to be telling people what a clanging “symbol” is? I know that your opinion is important, especially to this site given that it’s your blog, but it sounds a little self-righteous. You don’t feel that people declaring their view about gays demanding special rights on Facebook is done out of love so you declare it a clanging “symbol.” Respectfully, your post feels like it is not being done out of love, but rather self-righteousness.

    • Preachy? Maybe. But please don’t declare what “side” I’m on. I was very clear that ALL the noise and ALL the symbols are loud. “and your no-equal signs and your equal signs made into crosses …” 😉 I’m sorry you missed the point that we ALL could quiet down and be a little more respectful in our approach.

      • I understood what you said, and I’m not presuming your side of the argument. I just don’t think that you words were seasoned with salt and grace as you were condemning peopled for their words/symbols. Isn’t that what you were accusing everybody else of doing?

        • I believe that, while everyone’s opinion is valuable, certainly, there comes a time when it becomes a bunch of “we’re right!” “no, we’re right!” “no, you’re misreading!” “no, you’re not reading Truth!”, etc. etc. Everyone’s so busy trying to prove their own point. If we’re truly acting “out of love,” perhaps we’d also consider quieting down, for just a moment, and LISTENING. That’s how I read Amy’s post– as a call to be calm, open, and loving in the midst of all the noise.

  9. Thank you!! This is how I have been feeling all day and I’m so glad you put it into words for me.

  10. You’re like a breath of fresh air!

  11. THANK YOU…..and that’s all I have to say about….for now!! ; )

  12. Yup…staying out of the nastiness…too much for me!

  13. I had already decided before everyone started with the = signs to change my profile picture to a cross for Holy week. I refused to change it to a pink + sign though because that just seemed like I was being argumentative instead of sharing my faith. I’m with you though I can’t stand the lack of love.

  14. I heard someone say that we were put on this earth not to make a point, but to make a difference. Social media is all about ‘making a point’; God wants us here to make a difference. I think that is a healthy perspective!

    • Wow. Great quote about making a difference. Certainly convicts me a bit as I sit and stew on some drama that occurred in my life today (irl, even). But I think that’s so true about people “declaring” their opinion or whatever. I question what the motivation is for sharing it on FB et al. (And with this quote, I’m also questioning my own motive for some things.) Even “good” things, like Thankful November. Yes, be thankful, but why do you have to proclaim it on FB? Can’t you just make a list and post it on your fridge? Wouldn’t it be more meaningful if you took the quiet approach and shared it with those it directly affected (fam/friends)? Because then it feels like bragging, and it gets just as annoying as political rants, imo. Like clanging cymbals.

    • “we were put on this earth not to make a point, but to make a difference” <------- fabulous!

  15. Ha this is kind of funny. I feel like my FB had almost no discussion/debate about this. I guess all my friends had their red bars up or just kept quiet. Maybe I don’t have a big enough circle.


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