Why the Way You Reply to Snarky and Critical Comments Matters

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It's so tempting to reply to snarky and critical comments with anger and retaliation but what if there's a better way, a way that builds trust and respect. #criticism #snarky #comments #CountingMyBlessings

How do you respond to snarky comments on social media?

How do you handle harsh criticism about your faith?

I’ve had several opportunities lately to think about and figure out how to deal with each of those scenarios and I pray that I have been able to be just a bit like Paul.

When the time came, we set sail for Italy. Paul and several other prisoners were placed in the custody of a Roman officer named Julius.

Acts 27:1a

Julius was given the task of getting Paul to Rome safely . . . failure to do so would have led to severe consequences for him. But check this out:

Julius was very kind to Paul and let him go ashore to visit with friends so they could provide for his needs.

Acts 27:3

Paul had proven himself to be trustworthy to this Romans officer, the one responsible for holding him prisoner. Have you ever wondered about them? How they treated each other? What they said? What prompted this Roman officer to trust Paul’s character and integrity enough to give him the freedom to visit with friends.

And then, to spare his life:

The soldiers wanted to kill the prisoners to make sure they didn’t swim ashore and escape. But the commanding officer wanted to spare Paul, so he didn’t let them carry out their plan. 

Acts 27:42-43a

The soldiers were afraid but because Julius respected and trusted Paul . . . he spared his life.

What if you and I responded to snarky and critical comments with the truth of God’s love gently and respectfully rather than angrily? What if we listened to learn about the pain or fear behind criticism and harsh reactions?

Let’s pray for the Kingdom. Let’s ask the Lord to help us live in ways that wins the trust of people around us and witnesses powerfully and winsomely to the love of God in and through Christ Jesus.

It's so tempting to reply to snarky and critical comments with anger and retaliation but what if there's a better way, a way that builds trust and respect. #criticism #snarky #comments #CountingMyBlessings

A Prayer to Love Like Jesus Even When
People Make Snarky and Critical Comments

Father, Jesus said, “God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers.” (Matthew 5:11) But it’s hard, Lord. It doesn’t feel like a blessing. It’s hard to show humility, mercy, and to work for peace when people are harsh and comments are cruel and snarky. Please forgive me and help me.

Paul wrote: “Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” (Ephesians 4:31) Please forgive me for the times I have responded to snarky comments with harsh words. Forgive me for failing to be tenderhearted and forgiving.

I want to shine the light of Your love. I want to faithfully speak Your truth gently and respectfully. I want everyone I meet to see the hope of Jesus that is within me. I want people to know I am trustworthy because they see Your peace, love, kindness, and self-control in me. I want my friends and family, neighbors, and even strangers to want what I have because they see the difference Jesus makes in my life. I pray in His Holy Name. Amen.

It's so tempting to reply to snarky and critical comments with anger and retaliation but what if there's a better way, a way that builds trust and respect. #criticism #snarky #comments #CountingMyBlessings

Snarky and critical comments have become a way of life in much of society. But replying in kind does not have to become our new norm. You and I have an opportunity to stand out . . . to make a difference.

I’m not suggesting that we have to remain silent when words or actions are used against us. But I am considering the lives we might touch if we chose to show kindness and compassion, curiosity and interest, care and concern.

Maybe, just maybe, our “enemies” might come to trust and respect us . . . and it might be the blessing Jesus wanted His followers to know and experience.

On today’s note write:

May I respond to snarky and critical comments with the love of Jesus.

God bless you today. May He give us all everything we need to respond with His love even when people are snarky and critical.

Click here to read the rest of Acts 27.

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27 Comments

  1. When someone makes a snarky or cruel comment, it is all too easy to snap back at them in kind. May we, instead, show them gentleness, respect and love, the kind Jesus has taught us. Maybe, we will touch their lives in just the way they need.
    Blessings, Deb!

    1. You are so right, Martha! That’s typically my internal reaction . . . I always pray I can hold on to that feeling long enough to tamp it down and respond with love. Only with God’s help! <3 Have a blessed day, my friend!

  2. Another helpful post, Deb. I think the pandemic has had a huge impact on a lot of people emotionally– seems fuses are shorter these days, and outbursts are more common. They need the peace of God in their lives.

    1. I agree, Tim. As we were isolated and it seems divisiveness was promoted . . . the way people are interacting online and even in person has been more agitated. I think it gives us a great opportunity as followers of Jesus to stand out and shine the light of His love. Thanks for visiting and for joining the conversation. God bless you!

  3. What a blessing your devotionals are to me! I’d love it if the daily Bible reading was listed at the beginning of each post so we can read the chapter along with your devotional. Thanks for sharing your insights of God’s Word with us!

    1. Thanks so much for your kind encouragement, Heidi! I usually add a link to the chapter at the bottom of each post. Thanks for this reminder . . . I forget this time. Will add it now. I love that you want to read along with us. Thanks again and God bless you!

      1. Thanks for pointing that out. I read your posts on my Android mobile device using Microsoft Edge book mode which oddly doesn’t include the line with the link to the chapter.

        1. Hi Heidi, Thanks so much for following and reading with us. That’s interesting about the links on Androids. I’ll have to check into that! Thanks for letting me know. God bless you!

          1. Heidi Herbruck says:

            Good morning. I found out reader mode is hiding the Bible chapter link line. When Reading mode is on, all advertisements and links to other articles disappear. Not sure what other readers do, but I like reading the Bible chapter before reading your devotional. Perhaps you could also add the Bible chapter without the link to the top of each post? Thanks for sharing the gift of your Biblical insight with us all. Have a joy-filled day!

          2. Thanks again, Heidi! Your input is appreciated and I’m glad you figured out what was going on. Have a blessed day!

  4. Ginger Harrington says:

    Snarky comments often trigger a similar response if we aren’t careful and purposeful. Choosing to respond with a blessing can be hard, but I think the more we do it, the more of a natural pattern it can become.

    1. Wouldn’t it be awesome if it became our natural pattern? I can only imagine the difference it would make . . . especially for our online interactions. Have a blessed day, Ginger!

  5. Angela Cahill says:

    The world would be a better place if only we could all respond to situations as Jesus did. To meet harsh comments with the love of Jesus, instead of meeting like with like. We sometimes fall into the trap of doing so…..and one word borrows another until it snowballs out of control. God is a just God and counts all our tears…..what’s meant to hurt us, God can diffuse it when we show love. Maybe seeing us unmoved by those snarky comments, is the very thing the other person needs, for them to turn the other cheek themselves and learn to live by God’s principle commandment….”to love their neighbour as themselves”. Thank you Deb for sharing with us your spirit filled words today – may we pray for the day when we can all live in peace.

    Angela – Ireland

    1. Amen, Angela! Thanks so much for sharing that great point. God bless you!

  6. I’m learning a true test to my spiritual and emotional maturity in Christ is my response when my feelings are deeply hurt, especially by a loved one. Seeing the insult or offense as a way to become more like Christ is helping me react in the power of the Holy Spirit instead of my flesh. It’s definitely a determined choice and it can be so hard. Your words are so encouraging!

    1. That’s so true, Valerie! What a great point. The closer we are to Jesus the more the Holy Spirit is able to help us live like Him. Thanks, my friend! Blessings and hugs!

  7. On dear this applies to me! It’s not that I retaliate outwardly, more that Inside I am arguing and complaining. I think it is pride. My feelings are hurt, I need more humility More forgiveness.

  8. Love this so much! Too often its’ easier to respond sarcastically to mean comments online but can be so damaging to our faith!

    1. Thanks for your encouragement, Sarah! Blessings!

  9. gregory anderson says:

    I’m grateful to God that you are continuing to bless others with your posts and books.
    I have particular difficulties with negative criticism, keeping in mind the Scriptures teaching will have to impact me, and through me, others.

    Love your enemies, pray for those who persecute you…
    Thanks again for this post.

    1. Thank you so much, Gregory! I truly appreciate your kind encouragement. God bless you!

  10. Great reminder of how important it is to respond to others (regardless of what they say or do) in a way that is pleasing to the Lord!

    1. I’m so glad you visited, Debbie, and appreciate that you paused to join the conversation. Thanks so much! God be with you, and bless and encourage you!

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