Picture this: You’re scrolling through your news feed when you see a post you’re interested in. You click and read the article. It’s not something you agree with. You’re enraged and lash out in the comments section. Your rage is heated as you punch away at the screen typing…you’re in “your world.”
Do you ever think that the comment you’re leaving will be read by the person who wrote the article, or by the person whom the article was about? Social is about conversation—we get that. However, you need to ask yourself this: Would I say this to the person’s face? Is this comment hurtful or attacking A PERSON? In our present culture, a negative comment online rarely has any real-life impact on you, but it may on the person who poured out his/her heart and soul writing it, or on the subject of the article.
The Internet is an odd place, full of thoughts—sometimes too many thoughts. We are thick-skinned, but sometimes comments can hurt. We love our community, YOUR community. We aren’t perfect; nobody is. We are followers of Christ, saved by grace through faith. We sometimes may not write articles you agree with. It’s okay to voice your disapproval, but rather than attack the person or the organization as a whole, you may want to rethink how you comment.
In general, we all need to do a better job; nobody is being singled out. If you’re on social, you’ve written your disapproval. I know I have. However, once the tables have turned and YOU’RE the one getting ridiculed, you begin to realize one thing—it’s not worth it.
So how should we respond when we don’t agree with something? I tend to follow these biblical guidelines:
- Take time to really hear and think about what the person is saying. Put yourself in their shoes.
- Ask yourself: Is what I’m saying worth it? Will it advance a thoughtful dialogue?
- Don’t jump to conclusions and get angry. Again, ask yourself: Is what I’m saying loving and honorable?
If you’re biblically versed, which I know most of you are, that follows James 1:19.
As Christians we are called to a higher standard. We can comment on things and generally have a dialogue that is fruitful if we don’t agree. That’s fine. But rarely are we going to prove anything other than hurting someone’s feelings when we jump to an angry conclusion.
Agree to disagree—and move on.