“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage, and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:29-32)
“But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.” (2 Timothy 3:1-5)
“Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:17-21)
In today’s society, with the advent of social media and Internet interactions between people so prevalent, a shift has occurred in our ability to have a civil conversation. In fact, online bullying and hate have caused young people to commit suicide to get away from it.
I had read of these things happening but had never really experienced it until recently. It really doesn’t take more than a few words to ignite a firestorm of bullying and hate to come your way. For example, I commented on a post on Twitter under one of President Trump’s tweets. What amazed me, was how quickly it turned from political disagreement to personal attacks. My Christianity was attacked, my appearance was attacked, and my mental abilities were attacked.
Amazingly, I was not offended or even hurt. The training I have been doing on walking in the Agape love of God really does make us able to turn the other cheek like Jesus said to do. I was amazed at the level of hatred in their hearts and I felt sorry for them. Truly sorry that they were living with this inside of them.
However, my motive for even responding was not pure as the Father pointed out to me. I knew that responding to anything President Trump said on Twitter was going to draw this out. I had caused these people to stumble because I wasn’t sharing the love of God with them, I was responding with things I knew would infuriate them. Where is the love in that? So, yes I repented and Jesus forgave me. I deleted the tweet because people kept coming after me to bully and spew hate. I had to block several people. It was CRAZY.
What did I learn from this? I learned not to do social experiments on social media because that is not a pure motive. I learned that what these people need the most is my prayers for them to be free from all the hate. And I learned that the days of civil discourse are over. People are very brave sitting behind a phone screen or a computer screen. They feel safe to spew whatever vile thing comes into their minds. This is so dangerous because we will be judged on every idle word we speak at the end of days. And idle words are not just spoken words, but they also include TYPED words.
This is not limited to the lost ones. At least they have a reason they are rude. But Christians don’t have any excuses because they have a Bible that they are responsible to know and obey. To whom much is given, much is required. As believers, we have to really watch our words AND our motives for anything we do.
What is a Christian to do? Do we let people walk all over us? What about our rights? What about justice for our hurt feelings? Well, we are commanded to die to ourselves. In the Kingdom of God, we surrender our “right” to be offended and hurt. Dead people don’t have hurt feelings or injustices. It’s not about us anyway. We are commanded to LOVE. Period. We are commanded to prefer the other person. We are commanded to allow the Agape love of God to flow through us into a dying world. Lost people in these last days, are acting just like the Bible says they will. We have to make the decision to act like Jesus so that He can reach them. Let’s be honest, we have all been guilty of doing the same things they are doing and we are supposed to be ambassadors of the Kingdom of God!
Every day that we wake up, we need to remind ourselves of who we are and WHO we belong to. We need to seek the gift of Agape love and cultivate the fruit of love and self-control as we walk among the people of the world we are living in. It’s evil. It’s wicked. It’s full of spiritual peril. We will have plenty of opportunities to show the mercy, grace, and love of God every single day. We need to make the choice every day to love like Jesus loved. He told the truth and yes, He was blasted and eventually killed for telling the truth. Are we supposed to just shut up and say nothing to all this?
Take a lesson from Jesus. He ALWAYS said what the Holy Spirit wanted Him to say. Whether people liked or not. We have to have the kind of relationship with the Lord that we can hear and obey His voice. Before you type any reply or make a comment or share something, run it by the Holy Spirit FIRST. Let Him be your Guide on social media. He knows the hearts of people. Our careless words can cause people to stumble and sin. We, as Christians, can repent and receive forgiveness, but their sins are steadily being recorded in their book of life deeds without the covering of the blood of Jesus.
When we do tell the truth, our motive must be love. The pure motive of love is the only acceptable way for us to interact with people on social media. Be aware that telling the truth and responding to their anger in love is the ONLY way we are allowed to respond. We must look at them through God’s eyes of love. When we do this, they cannot hurt us, even when they attack us personally.
I wanted to share what I learned through this hard lesson with you today because I know that we all face the same challenges on social media. When to tell the truth and when to stay silent is a real test of our love walk. You can’t go wrong when you follow the leading of the Holy Spirit!