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.