"I cannot believe she posted that!" We have all said it. In my head I am writing that reply and it is good putting her in her place. Thankfully, I am one to think before I respond - not bragging because the truth is - I don't want to have to come back and apologize! I have lots of comebacks in my head and I know Jesus knows those thoughts and that makes Him sad. As a Christian I think I have a bigger responsibility than to just stop and think. I think I need to think about whether or not what I say will encourage people in their faith. Am I building people up or tearing them down? Am I being an example that Jesus would want me to be?
1 Corinthians 13: 4-7, "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres." What does this mean? It means we must take the high road. We must forgive others who sin against us. We must speak kindly to others even if they have a different opinion than us. It means visiting the sick, taking a meal to someone, carpooling someone, babysitting for someone, or just acting in a godly way when someone has disappointed us.
This is hard when we feel we have been "attacked" with judgment, harshness and condemnation. Look how Jesus was treated. James 1: 19-20, "My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires."
So why did I feel attacked? Often because it hurt my feelings. I was disrespected. It embarrassed me. I want to win this. What does the one thing all of these have in common? "I." It was all about me! Ouch!
I remember having to have a meeting with someone and I do not like confrontations but it had to be done. I went to my pastor to ask how to do this because I needed to be honest. He said, speak the truth with love. And then he prayed with me that I would be able to speak the truth with love. Ephesians 4: 15, "Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head,that is, Christ." As always, God was faithful beyond belief and I had no regrets of what I did or did not say.
It’s better to pause and carefully consider our words before typing a reply. Our words and our posts should build others up according to their needs. Proverbs 16: 24, "Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones." Psalm 119: 103, "How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!"
We can simply ask God to speak through us and The Holy Spirit will give us His words to speak. Then you can just watch the conversation change. The Holy Spirit speaks grace and love. Our words have the power to build up or tear down. Let's think about our responses and what message we are sending. Am I being an example that Jesus would want me to be? Even on social media?