Very rarely do I speak up about things I see and read online…but I can’t sit in silence any longer. This blog post actually goes along with the post I shared the other day about finding your way through trial and error. Really, it all comes down to this: we need to stop criticizing each other.
I’ve been following Cole LaBrant (and now Savannah LaBrant, too) on Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube for a while now. If you don’t know who they are, no biggy. I’ll explain.
To put it simply, Cole is (I think) 19. He’s really well-known for his YouTube channel and has been for a few years now. I can’t remember how I came across his stuff but I’m honestly thankful I did!
He’s a Christian who loves to have fun while glorifying the Lord at the same time. Ironically, I wrote that sentence before coming across this sentence on his About page:
“I love Jesus and having fun while doing it. I make Disney parodies sometimes.”
Basically, he makes fun and serious YouTube videos (he’s a vlogger) while striving to love the Lord and be a light for Him in the process. Pretty easy to understand, right?
Well, another thing you should know about Cole is he’s never been in a relationship. Relationships were never a huge priority in his life. No big deal, right? I can definitely relate.
Well, about a year or so ago, He met Savannah, a single, divorced mom. The story of how they met and fell in love is actually really cool if you’ll stop and watch the videos about it. It’s evident God’s hand was in every minute of it. As a single gal myself, I was encouraged by it.
To make a long story short, they got married and now they make YouTube videos together and take a lot of pictures. It’s just what they do…it’s something that’s totally normal in this day and age. Vlogging (video blogging) is extremely popular and something a LOT of people do and something I myself have started doing.
There has obviously been a lot of commotion because of Savannah’s past and whatnot. I’m not going into any details because it’s not relevant. They’ve actually vlogged about it so you can go watch those if you’d like. No pressure, of course.
What I love most about these two, and why I’ve chosen to follow them (and this goes back to when I was only following Cole), is what they stand for. They have joined hands and chosen to speak open and honestly about real circumstances and what God has done, and is doing, in their life. Both as individuals and as a couple. They use this platform they’ve been blessed with to point others towards Christ and they have FUN while doing it.
Lately, I have been reading a LOT of rude and hateful comments about Cole and Savannah…comments that are judgmental, critical, negative, and spiteful. They’re being attacked and criticized for posting pictures together, talking about their wedding, being married, etc. (literally EVERYTHING UNDER THE SUN) and the internet is going NUTS. They’re hurling insults out of places I never knew existed.
EXCUSE ME WHILE I VENT.
These two take a lot of photos because that’s what vloggers do. They talk about what God is doing in their life. They know they’ve been blessed with a gift and all they’re trying to do is glorify the Giver of that gift.
This is literally what they do for a living. They vlog about their life and what they’re going through…and people watch and are inspired. They’re encouraged. They feel hopeful.
AND THEY ARE GLORIFYING GOD IN THE PROCESS.
Why are we mad and annoyed and trying to refrain them from doing God’s work??????
Just because this isn’t something you’d see on your “agenda” doesn’t mean God didn’t list it on theirs.
There are people who no longer allow their past mistakes to define them thanks to this couple’s transparency.
They’ve developed a greater understanding of God’s love for them because this couple keeps Him at the forefront and talks about His character and all He does in and through their lives on a daily basis.
Why does this annoy us?
Are we really that uncomfortable with someone sharing their faith and being transparent and using the gifts, passions, and platform they’ve been given to be real people and talk about real things in hopes of changing the life of just one (REAL) person?
I know I’m a little biased because I’m a blogger and speaker, but then again…maybe that’s why I’m so passionate about it…because I’ve been on the other side of it. I don’t have a very big platform but I hope to glorify God with the small one I have. In doing so, I strive to use the gifts and passions God has given me (writing and speaking) to point others towards Him…and I also hope to encourage you to do the same—to use the gifts and passions God has given you to advance the Kingdom!
I do my best to talk about real life struggles and break down walls and find ways to relate to people because I believe it’s important and what I’m called to do. I talk about my journey towards my dreams because I’m a real person and so are you.
People need to know they’re not alone in the obstacles, circumstances, struggles, doubts, dreams, and insecurities they’re dealing with.
But rather than break down walls, we build them up. These barriers are getting higher and higher every day because we don’t want to let anyone in.
We say, “You’re not welcome here!!!!” or “You’re not doing it right!!!!” while we’re not even physically or spiritually doing anything ourselves.
Funny how that works.
We bash each other’s callings…all the while refusing to give in to our own.
THAT’S what’s wrong with the world.
We have GOT to stop criticizing each other.
We’re unwilling to let people in and then we go and criticize the people who do.
Honestly, it bothers me. It bothers me a whole lot, you guys, and I feel this subject is too important not to talk about. We are literally tearing people apart because they’re using the platform they’ve been given to glorify God.
Through cruel statements and critical remarks, we are literally PULLING PEOPLE DOWN rather than lifting them up and encouraging them in the GOOD AND HONEST work they’re doing.
Watch their vlogs. In no way do they come across fake. They’re genuine, and you can hear it in their voice. Although I’m using them as an example, there are several others. This is just the most recent one.
It’s one thing to disagree with what another person is doing…but to tear them down and belittle them when they’re doing NO HARM to neither you nor themselves????? That’s not okay.
Just because we’re annoyed with what another person is doing, that doesn’t make what they’re doing wrong.
I don’t know if these things happen because of jealousy or WHAT, but it’s heartbreaking and I would like to defend them, as well as any other person who has been or is being criticized for doing the work God has called them to do.
We are too dad gum quick to shoot each other down and belittle one another for simply being used by God and/or striving to glorify Him with the platform we’ve been given.
Why the actual heck does it matter what someone else is doing if it’s not harming you? Yes, I know nobody is perfect and I don’t think this couple has ever claimed to be. HOWEVER, they HAVE claimed to love God and they are simply trying to be a positive influence to those around them.
I most CERTAINLY have been influenced in a positive and uplifting way.
As I mentioned here,
At least they’re fighting for what they believe in and refusing to settle for a life of mediocrity.
When we criticize people for making healthy choices that coincide with the journey they’re walking (one we have never walked ourselves), we are basically telling them to settle. We’re telling them being miserable is more important than doing what you love and what you’re good at.
We have to stop criticizing each other.
LET PEOPLE BE USED BY GOD. WE ARE IN THIS STINKIN’ THING TOGETHER. We’re not enemies. We are members of the body of Christ.
How the actual heck can we further God’s Kingdom by criticizing the people who are specifically trying to do JUST THAT? How can we point others towards Christ while simultaneously saying negative, hurtful, HATEFUL things about the ones who ARE genuinely pointing people to Christ and being vessels of His GRACE AND LOVE.
Again, just because you disagree with someone’s journey, that doesn’t mean they’re wrong in walking it.
God has called Cole and Savannah down this path and I appreciate their commitment to glorify Him and use the platform they’ve been given to HONOR HIM.
Can we just let people do their thing? If it’s not hurting you or me, why are we letting it bother us so much?
Can we stop criticizing each other and the calling they’ve been given and quit judging their willingness to surrender and be obedient?
I’m not writing this to convince you to follow Cole and Savannah. That’s your choice. I’m 100% sure there are people you like who I’m not particularly fond of and vise versa.
What I’m saying is…you wouldn’t want people tweeting hateful messages about you for doing what you feel God is calling you to do, so why do it to them? Why do this to each other? Their vlogs and social media posts take the things they’re passionate about and the gifts they’ve been given (photography, vlogging, etc.) to point others towards the Giver of those gifts.
The gifts you’ve been given, the subjects you’re passionate about, those things are not random. God gave them to YOU. God made Tim Tebow a really good football player. Tim got to choose what He did with it, and He chose the righteous path…the path that, ironically, God calls us ALL to walk…and that’s a path that glorifies God and makes disciples of Jesus Christ.
Cole and Savannah have a unique story. Rather than hiding in shame and making people feel ALONE in their own struggles, they choose to allow God to work through their stories in hopes of encouraging that one person who needs to know they’re not alone…or who doesn’t have a relationship with Jesus!
It’s not a crime for a person to be open and honest with their story so God can work through it to reach others.
Please, let people walk their own path and pursue their calling without being criticized. Set aside the spiteful comments and hateful posts and give people a chance to live the way God has called them to live. It’s called obedience.
STAY CONNECTED! Sign up for my weekly newsletter here.