Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Romans 14:13
So much of what we see and hear, especially on social media, revolves around the judgement of others. In particular, the judgement of officials in governing bodies and places of authority. I myself am guilty of throwing digital stones in the direction of public leaders who do not adhere to what I believe to be upright practices, whether in their private lives or in the service roles they fill.
This week, in the face of a major up-heaving of our local community’s law-enforcement hierarchy – the local police chief was suspended – there ensued a deafening outcry by the public via social media. As more circumstances were brought to light, I found myself enraged by the sheer audacity of the city council’s actions. Angered enough to put my 2 cents in, I quickly typed a reply to the local newspaper article. Included was interpretation of the situation, along with my opinion and my very smart (if you ask me) solution to the problem, all presented in the eloquent fashion with which I post most things online.
However, when I pushed the little send button it did not send it! On the contrary! I kicked me out of the article completely! Now I was REALLY upset! Mad enough I forced myself to put my phone down and walk away, so I could clear my head.
Upon some reflection I realized that no matter how right I may feel I was in my opinion, and subsequent advice, ultimately my actions had been rooted in sin. Judgement had taken up residence in my heart. I didn’t know the full story, I doubt anyone does yet! Worse, I had allowed my pride to inflate my ego. Proud of my snappy response, anger had stepped in stealthily when my response hadn’t posted.
I needed help!
Then I thought back to a book I’d read earlier this year, Keep it Shut: What to Say, When to Say it, and When to Say Nothing at ALL by Karen Ehman.
In her book she discusses how easy it is to pass – and post – judgement on others when we’re online. She challenges us, the readers, to live by the scripture when it says:
My mouth speaks what is true,
for my lips detest wickedness..
All the words of my mouth are just;
none of them is crooked or perverse. (Proverbs 8:7-8)
She says, “Let’s not be aimless when it comes to our online words. Let’s seek to make them pleasing to God and encouraging to those who read them.” WOW Karen! Thanks for the reminder!
Needless to say, I did end up posting, but on my Facebook wall, not the anonymous posting on the news article. And I didn’t include any of the fancy wording, or harsh opinions I held. Instead I simply posted the scheduled time for the next city council meeting with this simple statement:
“OK Great Bend, you don’t like the way things have gone down? Show up, speak up, exercise you Civil rights……or risk loosing them. Posting on message boards and FB post won’t fix this. We have to get off our devices, out of our comfort zones, and IN-volved!”
I thank the Lord for His Living Word which saved me from my sin, and for his worker, Karen Ehman, whose words brought me down to reality. If you haven’t read her book, I’d highly recommend it.
Thank you all for reading my post, have a blessed day!