An open letter to end all open letters:

Posted on February 11, 2015 by Jeff

This is an open letter to the person who wrote an open letter to all the people writing open letters about why people are leaving church:

Seriously, why does everything have to be an open letter these days? It’s like open letter Inception. We’re now 4 levels deep in open letters and it seems as though we may never escape. Newsflash: there are people with whom you disagree. Put down the pen, get over it and move on with your day.

Are there not better things to do with our time than come up with lists of reasons why other churches are bad? Or why child vaccinations are straight from the devil himself? Or why Kanye West is not a real musician?

Even if your list contains a teaser like, “number 4 will shock you!” doesn’t make it an insightful list. Seriously, how often have you gotten to number 4 and truly been shocked?

“Oh My WORD! I’m shocked to see that magazines use photoshop!! LOOK AT NUMBER FOUR!!”

After a while, doesn’t it all start to smell like number 2?

It seems like we’re spending WAY too much time drawing our own lines in the sand and vilifying anyone on the other side. Not everyone who disagrees with you is a total moron. I believe we should first, spend more time fixing ourselves and second, realize significant change in someone else is going to happen within relationship and not through a homemade protest sign, Facebook comment or open letter.

So I propose we rid ourselves of all social media open letters designed to voice our disproval of how others are living. Of course I mean AFTER this open letter – let’s consider this the final open letter to ever be penned. Or typed. I’ll assume you’re all OK with me having the final word.

So rather then spending time pointing out all the ways in which other people are wrong, here’s a suggested list of better uses of our time: (By the way, number 6 will blow you away. After reading number 6, you’ll never be the same. Number 6 will shake you at the core and cause you to doubt everything you’ve ever been taught.)

‘Better usage of time other than open letter’ options:

 

  1. Actually get to know someone whose choices you disapprove of. Don’t try to fix them, just listen to their story.
  2. Get involved at your church. Even if you don’t love your church. Make an investment of time.
  3. Spend some time with a parent and their autistic child.
  4. Write a song. Or at least try to, and realize it’s not easy to do.
  5. Go for a walk, regardless of temperature – that’s why there’s layers of clothing.
  6. Buy your spouse a card that says ‘I Love You’ on it.
  7. Play a board game with your whole family. Be ready to insist. If you have teenagers, they will use the words, “lame” and “this is so.”
  8. Volunteer somewhere. Homeless shelter, Community Center, Food Shelf, After School programs, crisis pregnancy center etc. Just pick one.
  9. Have a family of a different race to your home for dinner.
  10. Find the oldest person in your church and take them to lunch.
  11. Read your Bible and realize it’s not there to make you feel happy or point out faults in others.
  12. Dance in your kitchen while making your kids breakfast, or sing loudly in your car.
  13. Give some money away. It is just money and it makes you miserable most of the time.
  14. Take your kids roller-skating, or bowling.
  15. Turn off the TV – for like a week. Instead, read a book or write a hand written letter to someone who lives far away.
  16. Generally, just try to not be such a tool.