I enjoy social media because it’s a great way for me to keep in touch with family and friends. I like perusing the pictures they post and reading their reflections online. But sometimes social media is also grievous. Because—as perhaps you have also realized—there are few places where the condition of the human heart can be so obviously seen than online.
Granted, I am often blown away by the kindness shown from one stranger to another through online platforms, but I am even more blown away by the human tendency to become quickly offended.
It seems that some folks are quick to jump to conclusions, rushing to judgment about a situation they know little of. They jump on the bandwagon of bad-mouthing someone they have never met because it feels safer to say mean things behind a screen than in person. But as Christians we are called to a higher standard.
It takes care and wisdom to know when and how to insert one’s beliefs or opinions into an online conversation. We must remember that the most godly and loving thing to do may be to not say anything at all when online conversations get heated, and when we do speak (or text, message, tweet, or post) to be kind.
2 Timothy 2:14; 23-24 says,
“Warn them [the believers in Ephesus] before God against quarreling about words; it has no value and only ruins those who listen . . . Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.”
How would the world be different if we took these words to heart? How would others see the love of Christ more in the body of Christ? What kind of amazing impact could that have?
I think these words from Paul weren’t just for Timothy; they are for us now as we not only speak, but text, message, tweet, and post. We are called to be a light to the world, including the online one.
I’d love to hear your thoughts below.