Hardly a day goes that I haven’t written a scathing response on “social media” to someone with whom I disagree only to hit delete rather than post. Can anyone else relate? If only I could give up Facebook and Twitter, the universe would return to balance once more.
I call that taking the bait. Or a less slangy way to say it is taking offense. Defined as: the action of attacking someone or something.
What is going on inside of me right now? Not only me, but a whole bunch of people I know, love and many I don’t know or love. It’s like someone let the wolves out. This pandemic and the subsequent lockdown have put us all on edge. That coupled with a world “on fire” and it’s the perfect cocktail for lashing out at almost anyone about anything. Even my wife making chewing noises. Sorry, Coll.
In searching for the answer I was led to I John 2: 7-11. By the way, 1 John is an amazing book. The overarching theme is love.
“Dear friends, I am not writing a new commandment for you; rather it is an old one you have had from the very beginning. This old commandment—to love one another—is the same message you heard before. Yet it is also new. Jesus lived the truth of this commandment, and you also are living it. For the darkness is disappearing, and the true light is already shining.
If anyone claims, ‘I am living in the light,’ but hates a fellow believer, that person is still living in darkness. Anyone who loves a fellow believer is living in the light and does not cause others to stumble. But anyone who hates a fellow believer is still living and walking in darkness. Such a person does not know the way to go, having been blinded by the darkness.” (NLT)
That’s it. Choose love not hate. Why didn’t I think of that?
When I lash out at my fellow man (or woman), that’s sin. That’s hate. I’m certainly able to disagree with a point of view different than mine but it calls for a more balanced response than the world at large is willing to adhere to. A loving one.
Ok, so what do we do? To start, take a deep breath. No — take 3 deep breathes and ask God to show you how to respond in love. If you’re not sure how to do that, open up His Word and read 1 John. I did.
And that’s the memo.