I Got Called a D%@&^#bag for Helping Poor People

I spend a stupid amount of time on Reddit. Mostly looking at pictures that provide me with a few brief seconds of vain entertainment, but also occasionally posting one of my videos about Africa.

Anyone whose used Reddit for an extended period of time knows that it has a strong atheist community. Religion is made fun of and criticized as blithely as a covenant theology professor would put down a dispensationalist.

So whenever I post one of my videos, I occasionally get a nice, encouraging comment. But more often than not, someone takes the time to call me one of the words that’s permitted on the internet, but not in any other public setting. I’ve been called them all. If you want examples, just go to the African Sub-Reddit and search my name.

Let me assure you, they’re not calling me names arbitrarily. I’ve posted enough videos that I’m now known as the “Christian Missionary.” Even if I post a video that’s areligious, I’ll get the same response. Last week I tried to raise money for the 200,000 flood victims in Malawi and made a video satirizing American generosity. No religion was mentioned, and you can see how viciously I was attacked here (you can also see that some people came to my rescue)!

It seems to me that people aren’t against the idea of “helping Africans.” But they are against the idea of “Christians helping Africans.” They hate the Christianization of Africa.

And they have some valid points.

But what they don’t have is an alternative. They sit around at their computers pointing their pale fingers (most commonly the middle one) at people who are trying to make a difference. And they’ll continue to do that because they think they’re good at it. But that is the far-reaching extent of what they do: sit around.

Let me share something with you that a wise man told me once and which I’ve been trying to digest ever since: “It’s easy to be a critic, it’s much harder to be an appreciator.”

To give an example, any of us will watch 3 episodes of American Idol and automatically think that we’re capable of giving our detailed insight into who is and is not a good singer (confession: I’m a terrible singer and I was guilty of thinking I knew who was).

It’s tremendously easy for a human to look at another human endeavor and highlight the numerous imperfections. Practically anyone can do that. Criticizing doesn’t make you special; it makes you common.

How much better would it be if we resisted our human nature, and took the time to point out what was available for appreciation?

Don’t hate. Appreciate.

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