Some might consider me to be old-fashioned. I believe in the value and necessity of kindness, civility, others-respect and self-respect for all man-kind, but this post is written specifically about a certain person. The person that proclaims that they are a believer and follower of Jesus Christ, the son of God, blessed redeemer to those who put their trust in Him.
I’m finding myself increasingly demoralized by the lack of civility in our society, but what really gets to me, is when the foul language or vindictive attitudes come out of a fellow Christian. When they’re behind a computer screen, some seem to have invincible courage, or at least a lapse in good judgement. Why do so many feel the freedom to behave in a mean-spirited way online?
I wonder if they’re not thinking very far ahead, and only considering what feels good to them in that moment. I wonder if in that moment, they are forgetting who they belong to. I know this for sure – there is a human being on the other end of that remark, meme or photo. The snarky words that make the writer feel as though they’re hilarious or vindicated, have the potential to break someone’s heart. The recipient is not weak-minded – they are simply human. There is nothing outdated about common decency, using discretion, and respecting other human beings, or even self-respect. The author of poor taste humor or foul attitudes and language, would benefit by following the golden-rule.
Perhaps using some simple damage prevention tactics would be helpful. Consider how you’d feel if this was directed at you. A personal cooling off period – say ten hours of prayer and consideration on whether or not the comment or post is acceptable. Will it hurt someone or damage a reputation? Does it add value? Institute a personal code that you will not violate, and double check that your code lines up with Scripture.
Unfortunately, there will be times that we unintentionally hurt other people, but being mean-spirited is disgraceful. There’s a flesh and blood human with feelings on the other end of the comments and posts. Our words and actions have consequences – they will always have an effect. Even though you cannot see the reaction on the other side of the online world, it is still occurring, and that reaction might be a tearful, broken heart. Is this really who you are? Is this who you want to be?
Do not be wise in your own opinion. Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Romans 12