Sometimes a good story or article will show up on Facebook or whatever and folks just start throwing flaming darts at each other. The “comments” area just lights up with derogatory words, generalizations and hateful garbage. There are certainly fair opinions out there, but man, folks are snakes sometimes!
Many times, the word-spitting isn’t even about important stuff! For example, the weather has been bad here in Portland, so I’ve been reading up on forecasts and such. People even get snippy on those comments, putting down the weather man and sniping each other with “Mr. Smartypants” answers. Another example is when I was researching some truck parts….dudes started tearing each other apart, belittling one another and calling each other stupid. Pretty silly really.
I’m sure that this has gone on for a long time, but it sure seems like things have gotten worse lately.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been tempted to join the mudslinging at times. There have been situations where I’ve had to quickly delete a comment already typed out to avoid saying something stupid. At the time, it’s hard to hold back and respond in love, but I’ve never regretted it when I have.
A couple of months ago, a friend of mine posted a bible verse that I liked. I saw that there were some comments about it and for some reason, I decided to take a look. There was a guy who was obviously very upset about God and some words were thrown around pretty harshly. I felt compelled to respond in a loving and positive way. Basically, I told the guy that I loved him and that God loved him and that he’s definitely entitled to his own opinions. I didn’t challenge him at all. His response was full of love and respect, even a little humor. The conversation ended well and he even removed some of the “F Bombs” from his comments. I didn’t do anything fancy or complicated…I just loved him. Super encouraging!
The truth is that the world keeps getting darker and the need to be a light is becoming more and more important. Although we ALL need to treat each other respectfully, I beg all folks in particular who claim to follow Jesus to PLEASE act and respond in love. I’m speaking to myself as well here. It’s ok to have opinions and disagree with others, but we have the opportunity to add flavor to sometimes bad tasting situations. Let’s love and love well.
I also encourage all of us to put our phones and computers down and relate to one another. We were meant to be together friends, not sit cowardly behind computer screens, developing hate-mongering callouses on our fingers. A hot cup of coffee and an open heart could do wonders for us all, no matter what differences we have.
For now, I’ll keep hoping for a weather blog not laced with arguments and put-downs…..I’m not holding my breath though.
Type on with love friends.