By Abigail Schultz
Cody’s input: There is a trend that is sweeping across social media like a camel to water. “Open letters” allow people to share their thoughts and feelings to strangely specific types of friends or family, without all the pesky doing it yourself part. After all when writing a letter to someone who is close enough to be the focus of one, the worst part is making it personal to them or you.
Do you ever wonder if during the American Civil War, if soldiers saw others writing home and asked, “Hey friend, can you also put near the top that it’s for my wife too? Thanks!” Arguably there aren’t many dangers of this trend, but in thinking of terms of having a relationship with Christ there is no relationship if it isn’t personal and sincere. Abigail Schultz has seen this firsthand and has written a letter of her own.
Lately it seems that the new trend on Facebook has been to share “Open Letters” to friends and family. I believe I have seen just about every title imaginable… “Open Letter to My Ex,” “Open Letter to My Best Friend,” “Open Letter to My Toaster.” There really is just no end to the amount of these articles that are floating around. You may be wondering why I am even bringing this up…I mean after all, what could this possibly be hurting? Well the truth is, nothing. I am sure that these open letters have brought smiles, tears, and even laughter to the lives of many. Actually I know this for a fact, because I have been one of them. Therefore, the problem is not with the letter itself, it is with the concept that lies behind it.
How many times have we shared one of these letters while quietly saying to ourselves, “I couldn’t have said it any better myself!” As Christians we tend to do the same thing. We think, “Well that person is more spiritual than I am,” or “What I would give to be able to pray like that!” Since when did we start living vicariously through the relationships that other people have with God? Countless times we just overlook this amazing reality that lies within the fact that our Father WANTS to have an intimate relationship with us. This particular relationship is the one thing that we have on this Earth that is unique, the one thing that is uniquely between us and God.
What need is there to be disappointed, when I have a God that created me to be the individual that I am?
You’re probably thinking, well…that escalated quickly! Let me just be honest. I have on countless occasions been guilty of this myself, especially at the beginning of my walk with Christ. As I began craving more of His presence, I constantly compared myself to others. I would look other people during worship and wonder why I did not feel compelled to worship with my hands in the air, or why I couldn’t speak in tongues. I became so bothered by what I wasn’t, that I forgot who I was. I would look at my own relationship with Christ and be disappointed. This is most definitely NOT how it should be. What need is there to be disappointed, when I have a God that created me to be the individual that I am?
“And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows” Matthew 10:30-31
See that’s the problem with open letters. As a society, we have turned away from the individuals that we are, allowing the voices of others to speak for us because we tend to doubt the qualities that we have been individually blessed with. Why share a letter that has already been shared a million times, when you have the power to write your own words of encouragement? And even more, why are we sharing a letter made for someone else’s best friend when we have been blessed with the voices to tell them ourselves? The answer is: we shouldn’t.
Now I am not saying that the wrath of God will come if you ever share one of these open letters again. I mean, I don’t know about you, but an open letter to my latest toaster sounds like the most perfect article to share with all of my friends and family. However, my prayer for all of you, is that you will dwell in the presence of God, aware that He deeply and intimately loves the unique individual that He created you to be.
“Yet you, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.” Isaiah 64:8
Read more from Abigail S. in her blog centered around her experiences as a Christian and her own relationship with Christ.