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.
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.
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.
Thank you so much for joining me today.
And a thank you to BibleGateway.com for sources.
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