Unfortunately, because of this I was verbally attacked by another commenter for my differing view. I will not repeat the comment, however, it was just plain mean. There is a huge difference between starting a healthy difference of opinion conversation and just trying to berate and bring someone else down. This was an attempt to bring me down, their words were harsh and hurtful.
I am not going to lie and say it wasn't hurtful because I was hurt by it. And I won't pretend that it didn't sting, it did. Because I am a fellow human being, with feelings just the same as anyone else.
People often forget that their words online have an effect. People think that they can do and say anything to people without the same consequences they have in real life - because they have the ability to become anonymous and no one will ever know it was them.
The internet gives people the power of confrontation without actually confronting them face to face which gives them more guts to say things they never would in real life. In real life, you see the persons facial and emotional reactions - but online often times people are dehumanized to emotionless screens.
People think that because its on the internet it doesn't matter how something is said or even worse, they say hurtful things on the internet because they know it will hurt but they think it has no consequence t o them.
But it does my anonymous friend who hurt me, it does.
You see what you say on the internet still counts in Gods eyes. God knows your name behind the anonymous facade. And you know something else? God loves you, Jesus loves you, I love you.
Yes, I do not know you but I love you because Jesus is in me and He loves you greatly.
He is waiting for you to come back home to him.
I don't know if this person is a Christian - but this is a valuable lesson my friends, as Christians, we need to make sure everything we say is gentle and respectful - online and off. What we say, how we say it has the ability to hurt or lift others up.
But even if you should suffer for righteousness' sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.1 Peter 3:14-16
Before you post anything online, ask yourself:
What would Jesus Post? (yes, the W.W.J.D for the technological age)
- Is this kind?
- Is this gentle?
- Is it loving?
It doesn't matter if you know that person or not, what we say online has effects and as Christians we are called to be ambassadors of Jesus - to allow him to live in and through us.
Are we being examples of Jesus if we post mean things about and to people?
If the answer is no, and you haven't posted it, great, delete it - but if you have, erase it and apologize.
Are you not supposed to share your opinion and are we supposed to be silenced?
No we are not meant to be silenced, in fact we are called to be the salt of the earth. However, share it in a gentle, and respectful manner.
Do your best to create peace.
“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.Matthew 5:13-16
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.Colossians 3:12-14
Though I stand by what my comment said, I learned an unforgettable lesson. I had to make a choice to create peace or match hurt for hurt.
I choose God, my King of Peace. I cried out to my Lord, looking away from the hurt and looking to my God who brings so much joy, and I look to Christ who endured much worse.
Then I forgave because God forgives me.
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.Ephesians 4:32
I forgive you my friend, and Christ forgives you.
I don't know what kind of hurt that person has had to go through in their life, or is fighting now but I pray that they will find peace in the arms of the Lord. And if you are reading this please know I am praying for you.
Friends, we are going to be hurt in this life but it is what you do with that hurt that matters. Are you going to choose to forgive and give the pain to the Lord, or are you going to exchange hurtful words for hurtful words?
And friends, when online ask your self What Would Jesus Post? before hitting post, because with your words you have the power to lift someone up, or tear them down.
Which would Jesus Choose?