I’ve had to exercise a lot of discipline in recent weeks, in the form of resisting the urge to reply to comments and opinions of others found on Facebook and other editorial sources. I am one of those people that feel an almost uncontrollable urge to reply to stupid, uninformed comments. I say “almost” because usually I am able to resist. I have found that responding to something I don’t agree with on social media never ends well. No one ever says “Thank you, I never thought of that. I believe I’ll change my mind.” Or “My, your argument is so compelling I think I’ll switch my vote to the other candidate.” It just never happens.
When it comes to responses to editorials in any form, the feeling of satisfaction that comes with firing off a response is quickly erased by a response to your response which just fuels the fire. This leads to a seemingly never ending cycle. It just isn’t worth it!
Perhaps the most damaging form of this is when two or more Christians spar over some issue in a public forum. Christian friends, we have a bad enough reputation with those outside of the church without needing to give them more fuel. Jesus said “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13.35). Sure we are going to disagree. But that should be done face to face in the proper forum, not all over the internet!
So let’s heed the immortal words of that great philosopher Thumper of Bambi fame: “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.”