In Proverbs 17:14 (HCSB), King Solomon wrote, “To start a conflict is to release a flood;
stop the dispute before it breaks out.” These words contain so much truth today. And in our social media-driven society, I wish more people would follow this simple guidance from King Solomon.
Did you know that kindness is contagious? As some of you may recall, I made a challenge earlier this year regarding kindness. The challenge was for my readers to go above and beyond at least once per week when interacting with someone whom they did not know personally. Remember that? Now some readers did send me personal notes saying they would give it a try. I wonder though, as the summer season is rapidly approaching its end, where we are with this challenge.
This week I want to check in and see how we are doing with the challenge. But first, a question to ponder. Can you imagine how considerably better the world would be if kindness and compassion were the norms instead of grumbling and anguish?
In Leu of Conflict, Spread Kindness
In my past life — no I do not believe in reincarnation — I would get caught up in social media rants with others over politics. Yes, I was one of those guys who thought he could change the world by simply “out Google searching” someone. I wasted many evenings back then searching for comebacks just to show that my position was better.
Unfortunately, it took me entirely too long to realize that the damage done far outweighed any palpable benefits. A study by the Pew Research center in 2018 showed that only 14% of those surveyed had “changed their views” due to social media. Honestly, when I read the study, 14% was higher than I expected because I have never seen one person flip their viewpoint. Also, my guess is that a more recent survey would show an even lower percentage. And as a reformed confrontational social media harasser, I have found it is best to just back away from social media political discussions whenever the argument ensues.
But What If I Am Trying To Share My Faith With An Unbeliever?
When sharing our faith as Christians, we must walk a delicate line on social media. Too harsh and we come off as a bible-thumping backwoods preacher like this guy.
So what can we do? First, ask yourself this question the next time you find yourself in a faith-based discussion on social media. Are you just impatiently waiting for your opportunity to pile on? If the answer is yes, trust me, you are in the wrong.
If you find yourself caught up in an argument on social media about religion or some faith-based political topic, remember this. From His Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5), Jesus tells us that we are the “salt of the earth” and the “light of the world”. As Christians, yes, we must “contend for the faith” (Jude 1:3-4), however, we are to do so with gentleness and respect (1 Peter 3:14-16) and in love (Ephesians 4:15).
Our role in salvation is to testify to the gospel and to be a witness pointing the world to Jesus. Trust me, non-believers will see the difference in us and as God softens their hearts for the Lord and the Holy Spirit convicts their souls, they will make the decision. In the end, they must decide. There is no amount of browbeating, bible thumping, or “out Google searching” we can do to change their minds. Our role is to share the Gospel. The Holy Spirit convicts their soul.
As I close this week’s musing, I just wanted to reiterate one point. Jesus tells us that we are the “salt of the earth” and the “light of the world”. To a non-believer, this may not make much sense. What does Jesus mean by salt and light? For now, I’ll leave that for another week but in the meanwhile, stay salty Christians.
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