Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said.
A recent post by renowned author, Mary De Muth, illustrates why a Christian needs to monitor and audit their responses and posts.
Because this blog is a safe place. And normally it’s a safe place to dialog and disagree. But this time was different. I cannot imagine having some of these conversations face to face. Which is why the Internet has its dark side. We can hide behind personas and screen names and hurl the kind of anger we’d never THINK of hurling in presence of someone. (READ MORE)
We all feel passionate about things. This country’s direction is concerning to all Christians. It makes us angry when we see how divided and how morally crooked we have become (believers and unbelievers). It’s easy to take trending topics and get upset, respond without thinking, even justify our words. More than one Christian has posted about conversations that went nasty.
So how are we giving Christianity a black eye?
- You are posting negatively about church. These days it’s all about public perception. Christianity is authentic. However, your authenticity is damaging the reputation of all churches (house, traditional, and small group). Posting about your pain in a private group is borderline. It’s divisive and you don’t know every person in that private group. People are looking for a sense of community and instead find unhappy, angry, and unforgiving people talking down about church online. The real issue is unforgiveness in the perceived or genuine hurts that are out there. Instead of venting online about it, seek wise guidance and friends to talk to about it via face-to-face, email or text message. It’s time we stop doing a disservice to those who are wonderful people in church. Do something about what you perceive to be wrong about the church, and volunteer to bring about positive change in your community. Work on your own sin of unforgiveness before it destroys the joy of the Lord inside of your spirit.
- Audit yourself. Mary De Muth shut down her comments on her blog. On our blog, we have rules, even on our social media sites. We wish to create a safe place to talk. Divisive, angry or cursing comments will be deleted without warning. Audit your tone when you leave comments. If you were a stranger reading it, would you perceive a passionate individual or an angry person wishing to shut down the discussion with his or her opinion? Politics and religion can be discussed in a calm manner if we change our tone and come from a place of love.
- You would say things you wouldn’t normally say in person freely online. Every persona is a real person with real hangups and hurts. Treat them as you would treat your believer grandmother, and be respectful even if you disagree with them, or feel frustrated because they can’t see your point of view. It’s kind of the same thing as point number 2, but anonymity gives the coward courage to speak up when in person they would never confront.
If you feel inclined, please send Mary De Muth some positive encouragement on twitter. We all need encouragement for the journey. Ministry is hard.
Your Challenge Today: Go to your social media and look at your profile from the viewpoint of a non-believer. Are your responses Biblicaly appropriate? Are you speaking from a place of love? Is the person you are speaking to and rebuking a believer? If not, how is it possible for them to understand our point of view of right from wrong?