“14 The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.” - Galatians 5: 14, 15 NIV
What is it about social media like Facebook and Twitter that turns ordinary decent people into mean, argumentative dolts? I’m not talking about those trolls who routinely post incendiary comments just to start a fight. I am talking about those regular Joes and Janes who post their opinion on something or other and soon find themselves being called names and responding in kind. I know I’ve been guilty of this, though fortunately more frequently in the past, having made it a point to be more circumspect in my posts and replies. But why do we act this way at all?
The answer to that differs from psychologist to psychologist, but in my own case what almost always sets me off are presumptuous comments about what I “must really be like.” For example, I might share a news story that reflects positively on President Trump, and next thing I know someone is labeling me a Nazi! And when someone throws a stone at me, it comes all too naturally to me to want to hit back with a stick.
What helped me to reform were several things. One was that I didn’t like the way these arguments looked when they were between other people, so I didn’t want to be like that myself. Another way was simply to delay responding. Once I cooled down I remembered that I didn’t really resemble the remark, so the stone never hit the mark. But mostly it was because I began reading Godversity posts almost every day. Those reminded me that I was a Christian, and that our Lord gave us just one job to complete with respect to our fellow man -- “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
PRAYER: Dear Jesus, we ask you to forgive us for the violence in our hearts, for our sinful desire to elevate our needs over those of our neighbors. Help us to embrace the humility we should practice every day and remind us that in your eyes we are all equal. None of us deserved the sacrifice you made for us on the cross, yet you gave it to us freely. Help us learn to practice the Golden Rule as reflexively as we have before felt the urge to retaliate. In your holy name alone we pray, Amen.
GOD BLESS YOU.
Authored by: Jeffery D. Kooistra