It is so easy to let everyone know how we feel. We have every possible platform to make known our thoughts and feelings on any given subject. Everyone wants to know, right?
Sadly, most people take this freedom of speech too far. Whether you want to view the Bible as the authoritative Word of God or just an historical book, it says that a fool utters all his thoughts (good wisdom no matter how you view Scripture). Ouch! That one hurt!
Whether we use pulpits, Facebook, blogs, Twitter, or any other public platform, we should not forget to exercise common courtesy toward others. I, or anyone else, should be able to voice beliefs respectfully. If someone disagrees, these public platforms are not the place to landblast those who disagree with you and “set them straight”.
Within the last 24 hours, I saw two examples – one positive and one negative. A friend of mine posted a faith-related post and was torn to shreds by other people who share her faith but disagree on biblical perspective. I mean it got ugly! The other example is personal. Someone whose belief system is on the opposite end of the spectrum shared one of my posts. He and I engaged in some dialogue and were totally respectful despite our differences. Another who believes much like the blogger who shared my post also commented and was very kind though we disagree. To those of us who proclaim to be followers of Christ, we are killing our testimony as we tear each other apart over pettiness while those who have nothing to do with Christianity can get along with this writer who makes no apology that I am a conservative Christian but tries not to be a jerk about it. I don’t say that to brag on myself but to say that it is possible to disagree, discuss the areas in which you disagree, and still be civil.
This is a reminder to myself as much as it is to us all. Despite our beliefs, we must use the public platforms available to us to help others. We must not hide behind them as we use our words as a machine gun. Have I done this? Unfortunately yes. Has the same been done to me? Yes. I know how it feels, and I want to try to be guilty of love and kindness rather than trying to spread a message of love with a hateful spirit.