How to Love Better and Be Happier

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I can still see myself sitting in a dorm room with a group of friends surrounded by their spirited and negative discussion. The only thing I could think to say was, “Be Nice!”

My mother quoted Thumper’s mother often…

[Tweet “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all. “]

I guess it took! (Most of the time.)

Where am I going with this…

I’m really upset about the personal attacks that happen on social media. Especially when it is Christ-follower against Christ-follower. It’s just wrong. (I’m sorry. There’s no other way to say it.)

I’m not talking about disagreeing or sharing differing opinions, what upsets me is when a comment begins with the words, “I’m a Christian” and ends with words intended to ridicule and wound.

“Our culture has accepted two huge lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone’s lifestyle, you must fear or hate them. The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do.” ~David Rupert – Just because I don’t agree with you doesn’t mean I hate you(Take a minute to read this excellent post.)

I don’t believe we have to agree with our brothers and sisters to love them, but it’s time for us to control the “tongue” that flows through our fingers and disagree without being hurtful.

Love Better

This is the message we’ve heard from the beginning. We should love one another. 1 John 3:11

We rarely notice verse before . . . the one that says—the children of God practice righteousness by conforming to God’s will in purpose thought and action, and who loves his fellow believer in Christ

What is love?

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13: 4–8a,13

These verses were never intended to speak only about marriage and family.

Did you know they didn’t vote in the early church? If leaders didn’t agree on something they went home and prayed about it, and that continued until a unanimous decision could be made.

I wonder what would happen if we stopped and prayed before our fingers started flying out cruel comments.

Most of us have strong opinions about homosexuality, abortion, euthanasia, global warming, animal rights, gender rights, civil rights, homeschooling, etc. We have clear direction on some things in the Bible, some are understood as they relate to others, and some are just plain ol’ opinions.

And we are entitled to our opinions, it’s how we share them that’s the problem.

The heated comments about Brittany Maynard’s desire to end her life make me sad. Have you read Kara Tippets letter—Dear Brittany: Why We Don’t Have to Be So Afraid of Dying and Suffering that We Choose Suicide? If you haven’t. You should. Because Kara wrote it with compassion, kindness, and the ability to say I understand . . . I have received the same diagnosis.

Be Happier

I believe kind people are happier.

Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude. Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and He will grant you His blessing. 1 Peter 3:8–9

Verbal bashing someone will not make you feel better.

“Create the kind of self that you will be happy to live with all your life. Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement.” ~Golda Meir

My personal rules to remain kind on social media. 

1. You don’t have to share everything you think.
2. If tempted to type something negative – get up, walk away, count to whatever it takes.
3. Always ask yourself—Is it kind? Is it true or just my opinion? Is it helpful?
4. Be positive. Be an encourager.
5. If in doubt. Don’t.

Life is hard enough. There will always be people who say hurtful things. And if you’re not a Christ-follower this doesn’t really apply to you.

But…

If you are someone who follows Jesus, make it a goal to love better and be happier.

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About Deb

Thank you so much for visiting CMB. I'm glad you're here. Please visit About Blessing Counting and Deb at the top of the page, and don't forget to leave a comment and subscribe before you go. God bless you!

13 thoughts on “How to Love Better and Be Happier

  1. Hey Deb, I so agree with your heart here. I was “that” friend too back in school – the one who wouldn’t tolerate unkind gossip – and the one who still cringes when I see us as believers being unkind to one another in the name of getting our opinions across. Grieves my heart. And God’s too, I believe. Thanks for your courage in standing up and saying these things today, friend. Blessings on your Monday! (Stopped by from Kelli’s place.)

    1. Thank you Dana! It is one of those posts I talked over with Rev and read to him before publishing. My friends often teased me for promoting my “nice” philosophy. So thankful for your encouragement today. You blessed me! Thanks so much for visiting. I loved your words, photos, and song . . . I look forward to getting to know you better.

  2. Great post!
    It disheartens me to see all the mean tweets & comments. I’m a firm believer in speaking life. There’s always a way to give your opinion or state your opposing ideal with kindness and without malicious words. Thanks for so eloquently encouraging us to think before we type. Happy Monday! 🙂

    1. I agree Larri. There is always a way to speak our opinions without making them personal and pointed. Speaking life points to the One Who is the Wat, Truth, and Life. Thank you for visiting and sharing your encouragement. Blessings!

  3. I literally started typing a comment on Facebook today only to delete it, saying “this is not a conversation I want to be a part of.” I was not going to say anything unkind or even controversial, but even just to have my name attached to the conversation didn’t feel like something I wanted t be a part of. Sometimes social media brings us close and makes friends of strangers. Sometimes it give us enough anonymity that we feel ok saying things we’d never say to people’s faces. Your words here are truth, friend. Thank you for linking them with Unforced Rhythms.

  4. What a great reminder of a basic command to \”love one another\”. If what we are about to say or write is not edifying someone, we need to refrain from doing so. Thank you for sharing this great post!

  5. Loved this! Thanks so much for sharing. It is amazing how cruel people can be on social media. Sometimes I am embarrassed of Christian groups when I think of how we must look in the eyes of the world with all the silly arguments and bickering that goes on.

    1. Thank you Cheri, I think the ugly side of social media becomes easy because we are free to type our thoughts as we sit alone on our side of the screen. We become more self-focused and less worried about feelings we can’t see. I’m challenging myself to only speak with kindness and encouragement. It’s just better to keep some thoughts to myself. 🙂

  6. Thank you for speaking out on this! I don’t understand all the hatred I see in social media and in real life. We’re called to love each other – and that means everyone, not just those with whom we agree! If we could just agree to disagree – but allow each other to share opinions and engage in polite discourse, what a better world this would be.

    1. Thank you Kathryn. I really believe we could learn from each other if we’d discuss without the ugliness. Even when we don’t agree we can learn by listening. Respect and kindness bless the giver as much or more than the recipient. Blessings!

  7. I agree. If you cannot say anything nice, do not say anything at all. We should be able to find something good about everyone, because everyone has good points and not so good points about themselves.

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