I was very late to join this social media world. I opened a Facebook late last year, eventually started my blog and now even have a twitter account. Once I started though, I must admit I enjoy it! Especially being able to write out my thoughts on a blog and share.
With that said, I don't blog very often! Even though there is so much that I would love to say/write, I put off sitting in front of my computer and getting it out there.
After prayer and self-examination I realized why I do what I do. Or rather, don't do what I want to do. I realized that people are mean; putting yourself out there means that you are opening yourself up to that. So I shied away, and closed myself off from the possible hurt and judgment that possibly await me. I realized that I need to trust God more with my heart! Being judged or called names is not as bad as being disobedient to the Lord, and suppressing what He has called you to do.
I read A LOT of blogs out there, and obviously follow people on Twitter and Facebook. I almost have to force myself NOT to read the comments! My heart breaks when people feel the need to express their EVERY opinion without thinking about why they are sharing! Why do people feel the need to express every thought that pops into their heads? When we were younger there was a saying that was quite popular! "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all." (I think writing it out falls under the same rules!)
Now, I am in no way advocating a fake persona. I don't expect people to go around with a smile on their face and just be happy, spewing fake compliments and lies to everyone they come in to contact with. We need to remember as Christians that we have self-control (Galatians 5:22) and we have the power to take our thoughts captive and make them obedient to Christ Jesus.(2 Corinthians 10:5) It takes both wisdom and self-control to not react to every situation, comment, etc. Whether or not we may agree, or even appreciate what someone else had to say, we are only capable of controlling what we say or do. Noone else!
There is a biblical principle for confronting people when you have conflict between persons. You need only to read Matthew 18:15-17 if you do not know how to proceed. However, actual conflict is only one of the problems on the internet! (That is a whole other post by the way)
Most of the time is just someone's opinions and remarks that are unfounded and so unbelievably unnecessary! Then they come back with "just saying"....or something equally as condescending! The heartbreaking thing is when they say they are just telling you "the truth".
We live in a generation of reality tv, where everyone plays a character, and people want to be known for something (good or bad). Where it is too easy to make a name for yourself and instant stardom is not out of reach. I am not judging the people who have reaped the benefits of this. I am trying to point out though, that what we do not see is the heartache and the REAL realities of their broken relationships because of "just saying" something! As cool as people on TV may look for being super outspoken and feeling the need to tell everyone they meet "the truth", there is a consequence for every word that we speak. The Bible says in Proverbs 18:21 that "Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and they who indulge in it shall eat the fruit of it [for death or life]."
I know that I am not perfect and there have been times when I have spoken up about something, when in retrospect I just wish I could take it back. With that comes wisdom for the next time I want to "comment" without thinking through it! We need to be very mindful that the internet is even more difficult than personal conversations because we cannot infer tone, and it is even easier for things to be taken the wrong way!
*sidenote* if you are having a personal conversation with someone and put it publicly on the internet you may not get the best reaction. Best to keep private personal conversations, well, private!
I do realize that I could be accused of being "judgmental" in the same manner in which I am writing about. That really is not my heart at all; I wish to encourage people to stop and think about the "WHY" that makes them do what they do. We all need to be reminded at times, and being called judgmental is a risk I am willing to take.
I pray that we would be a people that lift up and edify with our words. That we would think before we speak/write, and that we would check our own hearts before feeling the need to bring correction to someone else.
Matthew 7:3-5 "Don't pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging. It's easy to see a smudge on your neighbor's face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, 'Let me wash your face for you,' when your own face is distorted by contempt? It's this whole traveling road-show mentality all over again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face, and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor." (MSG)