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