I have come across so many things the last few days that just tear my heart to pieces. Social Media is a beautiful and wonderful thing that I sometimes love because it allows me to see the life of those I miss unfolding from afar. In the same respect, it allows those that love me and miss our sweet family to see our life as well. But Social Media can also be a very, very dangerous weapon of destruction from the enemy.
Never before were we, as a global spectrum, able to just put out our thoughts and opinions for the the entire universe to see. At first, it seemed like such a positive thing. We were able to read fascinating articles, reach out to long lost friends or relatives, find relatives we never knew existed before and gain a wealth of knowledge that seemed exciting and beneficial. But as quickly as we had those thoughts of grand excitement, social media seemed to almost suddenly become a public platform by which we find ourselves becoming a part of the world rather than set apart from it.
Plastered across our computer screens and smart phone devices 24 hours a day are the negative, hurtful, lustful, sinful natures of this world and sometimes, our own flesh. A news story about a tragedy is posted and if the story alone does not break your heart, the comments below them will. One would expect to find comments of condolences or encouragement for those who must be enduring a load they feel they cannot bear but no. That is not what you all too often see. Instead, they are comments of ridicule, judgement, mockery and cruelty.
Social Media has given us this mentality that just because we have the right to say or do whatever we desire, that makes it okay and so we do it. We post every angry, happy, sad, offending thought that might come to our minds in the moment and we walk away feeling like that matters. But the truth is…it doesn’t. Those words won’t be remembered 20 seconds later because someone else will come along and snatch our victory.
I have been there myself. I sometimes post things that later, I want to look up to Jesus and say, “Forgive me Lord. I lost control.”
I see you shaking your head but admit it. There is no better feeling than when your comment gets 50 likes and you feel justified in that horrible thing you just posted for the ENTIRE universe to see without any regard for it’s impact on humanity. We have all been there. Even if we don’t want to admit it.
It is hard as Christians to watch these things unfold. We become so weary from all the negativity. We want to DO something about it. However, most of the time, our responses become so defensive that we too, find ourselves speaking and saying things that quite frankly do not encourage, lift up or bring light into darkness. Rather, we too become judgmental and angry and full of self righteousness because we, for a moment, forget that their words are all too often fueled by an enemy they do not even know exist and far too often come from a heart that is broken and lost.
Yes. It is so heartbreaking to watch someone make a mockery of our faith. It is devastating to watch someone attack someone who is already broken inside. It is just plain wearisome to see words used to tear others apart. It hurts. It angers. It frustrates and it flat wears your spirit down.
This is when we must be the most cautious. This is when we must be the most diligent. This is when we must do three things:
- Take a moment right then to pray for the one speaking such things or sharing such thoughts or posting things that are contrary to what you know to be truth. They may not see it, admit it or care but these things come as a result of their own brokenness, pain, unforgiveness or fear.
- Take a second moment to pray for the ones who will be affected by their words. Pray that God will guard their hearts. Pray that someone will get brave enough to just delete those words altogether and for God to spare the family the heartache of having to see them. Pray they can put their eyes on Jesus and forgive.
- Forgive and DO NOT RESPOND AT ALL. It is soooo tempting and hard to just walk away and not say anything at all. We want to correct them, we want to defend the ones they may hurt, we want to show them who is right and who is wrong but those responses are no different than the world. And they only continue the brutal cycle that much longer.
We are called to be SET APART and in order to do so, we must reaact with an unlikely response: prayer and the choice to love.
The truth is, most of the time, these individuals thrive on the quarreling and bickering their words bring. They enjoy the sights on the screen of someone becoming offended by something they said. This is victory to them but what if we took the victory away from the world and gave it back to Christ? What would that look like?
It would look like love.
It would look like joy.
It would look like immovable, unshakable faith.
In a world where we are taught that we can do anything we want, say anything we want, let’s remember these all too important words from 1 Corinthians 10:23:
“‘I have the right to do anything’ -you say- but not everything is beneficial. ‘I have the right to do anything’ – but not everything is constructive. ”
Let’s become a body that gives an unlikely response. Let’s become an un-offended people who pray for those who come to hurt and show them love when it would be so much easier to respond in anger.
If all else fails, as you look at the screen before you and you are tempted to respond and give them satisfaction, ask yourself that timeless phrase we once had plastered all over our communities: “What Would Jesus Do?”
He would choose the unlikely response. He would pray and choose love.
In Christ’s Love,
Kristy Delgado ❤