If you see something, say something
Let's not just hand out compliments like candy when we are asked by God to not only bear one another's burdens but to exhort one another, to care for one another, and to unify ourselves for Jesus' sake.
If you see something, say something . . .
Most of us are familiar with that phrase, which arose after the horrific terrorists attacks on the U.S. on Sept. 11, 2001. Today, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s "If You See Something, Say Something®" program is a national campaign designed to raise public awareness of terrorism and suspicious activities.
Communities and individuals have also adapted the message, and we live in a world where it is fitting and necessary. Most importantly, it is a biblical principle. Have you noticed the societal mess we’re in? There are an average of 45 murders per day in the United States. We live in an era of unprecedented gun violence, unending political bickering, attempts to redefine marriage and family as God had intended, people willingly mutilating their own bodies, poverty, loneliness, and so much more.
When I was a child, there was tremendous admiration and respect for law and authority. But that respect has dissipated, and a lot of it falls on law and authority for abusing the respect that we gave them – and abusing citizens as well. Defund the police - absolutely not! No citizen will benefit. Hold them accountable - absolutely yes!
Seeing and saying something is a reminder that everyone who calls themselves a Christian has a responsibility to look out for the well-being of their brothers and sisters in the family of God. When warning signs of spiritual danger are on the horizon, we are commanded to respond. Beyond the external veneer of all of this, a spiritual battle for our souls rages on.
The Word instructs us in Philippians 2:4 that we should not look to our own interests but the interests of the others first.
Galatians 6:1 also lets us know that if someone is caught in a sin, those individuals who are spiritual should gently restore that person. It goes on to caution those spiritual individuals to watch out because they too will be tempted to sin. We are admonished in this passage to carry one another's burdens as a sign that we are fulfilling Christ's law. What is Christ's law? To love God, and to love one another as we love ourselves.
In a society that desperately needs to drink from the never-ending well of God’s limitless love, we must not be silent. We cannot succumb to culture's “mind your own business” mentality, especially in the household of faith. If we know our brother or sister needs help, we have to say something, and God forbid if we turn away by leaving it in prayer. Prayer is the first order, but doing something is a close second.
Remaining silent is not an option for the man and woman of God.
Furthermore, to take that one step further, if you see something good, we should also be committed to sharing this goodness with others. Let's not just hand out compliments like candy when we are asked by God to not only bear one another's burdens but to exhort one another, to care for one another, and to unify ourselves for Jesus' sake.
Here are some examples:
Husband to wife: “Honey, I can’t thank you enough for how you continually pour into our kids. You bless us all and inspire me to best the best dad I can be.”
Friend to friend: “Girl, I love what you’ve done with your hair. That looks so good on you!”
Employee to boss: “Thank you for supporting me as I learn what it takes for this role. I recognize you’ve been patient and I really appreciate it.”
Not only does speaking good words make the recipient feel good – it makes the giver feel good as well. An elderly lady stopped me just the other day when I was coming out of a department store. She said with a smile, “It’s been a while since I saw a man so smartly dressed.”
I was simply wearing my regular work clothes and I’ll probably never see her again, but her kind words made my day. The kind words of a stranger cost her nothing, but they were priceless for me.
Those who travel through airports will often hear this pre-recorded message: “Never leave your bags unattended. Keep your bags with you at all times. If you see a bag unattended, please alert security using the courtesy phone."
That message is intended to help ensure we keep our bags close and be aware of others around us. That message can be translated to an even wider view that so many around us are at risk of hurting others and themselves. So, we owe it to ourselves and to others to be mindful and vigilant.
Remember, the Holy Spirit is within all Believers as a comfort and guide. If we feel uncomfortable about something we have seen or heard, He may be trying to tell us something.
Dear reader, if you or I see something good, let's commit to saying something good about it. We should encourage one another as much as we can. Make someone's day by noticing! Let's be present for one another, in Jesus' name!