For lack of wood the fire goes out, and where there is no whisperer, quarreling ceases.Proverbs 26:20
I’m on the downslope of this little exercise, so in a few more days I will go back to posting once or twice a week. Good thing, too, because cross country season is ramping up and what with hauling kiddos around (which I LOVE!), my part-time job, ministry activities, regular mom stuff, and my much-neglected personal writing projects, time is becoming shorter…
Speaking of short, I haven’t much to say today. Just a quick thought on verse 20. Christian brothers and sisters, want to know how we can contribute best to promoting peace on social media?
We can refuse to add fuel to the flames.
The thing is, there’s a time and place to engage in debate. We need to stand for truth – absolutely! I never hesitate to post difficult truths on my personal internet space (that being here, of course), and I will speak them in face-to-face contexts when I feel the prompting of the Holy Spirit to do so.
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and all that noise? Well… from what I’ve seen and experienced, adding my $0.02 to the general ruckus does nothing more than keep the anger stirred up. I’m not likely to convince someone from the safety of my computer keyboard.
Besides, in most of the social media arguments I’ve seen, people are far too busy hammering out their opinions in capital letters so vehement that I feel I need to dodge the virtual spittle.
Adding to that simply isn’t helpful. If there’s a wrong that needs to be addressed, better to take the offender out for coffee and attempt to rectify or clarify the situation face to face. It’s more Biblical that way as a first step, for one thing.
If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother.Matthew 18:15
“But the sin wasn’t against me,” you say? Or maybe, “I don’t actually know the offending party well enough to meet them for coffee.”
Well, then, even better that you keep your thoughts to yourself. If you don’t know them well enough, your words will literally do nothing to help. And if the sin isn’t against you, it may not need your defense.
There are occasions where another person may need defending, but on such occasions, there are ways to word your defense so as to calm the fire rather than feed it. Be sure your remarks are life-bringing, true, and peace-promoting. Avoid inflammatory marks like you avoid the flu in it’s season.
Don’t forget that we are Ambassadors to our King and our heavenly Country. Let’s represent Him well.
Remind them of these things, and charge them before God not to quarrel about words, which does no good, but only ruins the hearers. Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. But avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness,2 Timothy 2:14-16