6-26-2020 – e-News

The other day a close friend posted an opinion on social media. The subject matter was divisive and some folks were passionate, but the approach my friend took was gentle and insightful. It didn’t add fuel to an emotional fire but simply offered another perspective. Then came a comment that was very unnecessary. Someone my friend didn’t know made the comment, “That’s easy to say coming from an ugly woman.” What?!?!
I think most of us can agree that this comment is both insulting and incendiary. It certainly didn’t add substance to the conversation.
I believe Christians should set the standard for how to tackle difficult conversations. We can express our opinion, highlight a perspective, and stand for Biblical truth. All of these things can be done in a winsome, wholesome way that reflects the beauty of Christ.
Many times, these conversations shouldn’t be happening on social media. Why? We lack the benefit of hearing someone’s voice and seeing their face and, as such, begin to make assumptions that may not be rooted in fact.
However, the reality is, these conversations and disagreements will pop up online. Political arguments, sports debates, half-time show opinions, theological differences, COVID-19 issues, racial tension, people with an axe to grind, or good, God-loving people who allow their emotions to get the best of them – all of these and more will appear in our feeds. So, when the mud starts flying (and there’s plenty of mud out there), don’t let it stick to you and certainly DON’T throw it back.
How we choose to respond (or perhaps, how we choose not to engage) will communicate so much more about us than what we say.
As Christ-followers, we’re given a standard to follow – a way of living and interacting with people. So, let’s keep a few things in mind when engaging in this thing we call social media:
Guard your heart and watch your emotional levels. If anger, disappointment, or disgust are boiling over, it’s not the right time to post on social media.
If you wouldn’t say it to someone’s face, don’t post it on their wall. Period.
If you don’t have a personal relationship with someone, don’t get into a debate with them.
If you disagree strongly about something a brother or sister has posted, have a private conversation with them in a spirit of love. It’s much more effective to send a private message or text and say, “Hey, I’m struggling with something you posted, could you help me understand what you meant?” That goes much further than giving your opinion without understanding the context.
Don’t write off a relationship based on what was post on social media. That’s not the way of Jesus. We unfollow and unfriend far to easily.
You don’t have to respond to something you don’t like. Sometimes there’s great value in giving your opinion. Oftentimes, there’s great value in keeping it to yourself.
Reflect Christ in all you do.
Journalist and social media etiquette expert Germany Kent wrote, “You are responsible for everything you post and everything you post will be a reflection you.” It’s a great quote but as Christians, I would add something else: what you post is not just a reflection of you, but of Your King. Reflect Him well!
“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” – Proverbs 4:23
This is my opinion and if you disagree, that’s ok. Let’s have a conversation about it.
You are loved!
Pastor Kenneth
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