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Christian Life

Why Thinking Before You Type Is the New Talking

You’re on Facebook scrolling through your news feed when you come across a friend’s post about something you disagree with. Maybe it’s a knock on your faith or a political post that you’re against. You suddenly feel the need to engage. You begin to lash out at this person directly. You’re outraged by their belief and you want them to be set right.

You’re not thinking before typing.

For ages we’ve heard the phrase “Think before you speak.” In fact, this takes on a much bigger biblical approach. James 1:9 states: “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.”

Now, let’s go back to your comment you made on your friend’s post. Was it made quickly and without thinking about it? We bet it was! And we can almost guarantee that your comment will, in fact, enrage the person you wrote it to. Now you’re engaged in an argument.

We shouldn’t be quick to quarrel over our beliefs. We all have our opinions on things. You know what? That’s okay. With that said, how can you approach someone’s Facebook post that goes, for example, against your faith? Here is what I think you should do.

1. Move on. Yes, move on. If you must, hide the post. You’re probably not going to change your friend’s mind on the topic by engaging them through social media. For one, it’s hard to convene your thought process even if you are approaching the situation with grace.

2. Remove them from your list of friends. Now this may be a bit harsh, but hear me out. If you’re constantly finding major differences in your belief system with this particular person, why are you friends? Think about your friendship online, then think about it offline. If you can’t see yourself being a friend offline, then don’t waste your time with them online.

3. Talk to them in person. Crazy, right?! A lot changes when you’re face-to-face with someone. If you love them, engage them about it in person. Approach it with ears to LISTEN. Words of wisdom there. Just as James says, be quick to listen, slow to speak. Hear them out, then ask questions as follow-up. If they’re against your faith, for example, find out why. You may not be able to change their mind, but at least they can see you as a friend who cares for them enough to not quarrel with them over something such as this.

Really girls, that’s it. That’s all you should do about it. There aren’t many options because the only other choice is to respond and get into an argument. The online world is a tricky place, but with a little grace, we can make it a place where our faith is truly shown. Be smart—think before you type.

 

Image: Lightstock | Pearl

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6 Comments

  1. bradylove44

    Posted by bradylove44 on April 29, 2015 at 17:30

    So as soon as someone disagrees with you should defriend them/completely block what they’re saying? I get that online arguments can get annoying and can go in circles. But if someone’s your friend you should really try to engage in conversations with them over issues you find important. As an atheist, I wish I could talk with my religious friends about things we see differently, and not just act like our disagreements don’t exist.
    Talking with different people can give you a very valuable appreciation of the other side. Simply shutting out anything that goes against your belief is never the answer.

  2. ChristinaGiven

    Posted by ChristinaGiven on October 12, 2014 at 11:09

    Great advice!

  3. alimarie

    Posted by alimarie on October 11, 2014 at 10:04

    If it’s on facebook, there’s feature (I’m not sure if it’s new, but I just recently found it) That allows you to unfollow someone’s updates without un-friending them. Completely un-friending them, I believe, is the wrong approach to take. I think talking to them in person is the absolute best thing to do 🙂

    • iamikilili

      Posted by iamikilili on October 28, 2014 at 19:43

      I totally agree– I’ve done this with a lot of people because it lets you keep ties with them but you don’t have to see everything they post. This way I can even unfollow people who I would consider fairly close friends but who just don’t put the most wholesome things online.

  4. syddlebugz

    Posted by syddlebugz on October 11, 2014 at 07:05

    I think this is a great life lesson i have learned 🙂

  5. lordallmighty

    Posted by lordallmighty on October 10, 2014 at 20:33

    Nice article ☺