One of the best ways to track cultural changes is to look at the new words that make their way into the dictionary each and every year. Back in January, the Merriam-Webster dictionary added a two-word phrase that is worth pondering for the simple reason that it describes what I believe to be a character flaw that can very easily become a habit. The phrase is “performative disapproving”. It refers to a kind of online digital human interaction where a person posts a meme, a picture, or a statement that communicates a dislike for or an objection to something. Last year’s political, Covid, and racial divisions created an environment where performative disapproving was widespread. But when the stated objections are made purely as an act of show to bolster one’s image or to make a positive impression on others, it is not an act rooted in conviction, but in dishonesty. The Scriptures tell us that we are to tell the truth. And, we are not to find our identity, value, or worth in the approval of others.
August 24, 2021