Growing up many of us said the Pledge of Allegiance in school to the American flag. By word and deed we pledge allegiance to all sorts of things:
- Sports teams
Often Christians seem to pledge allegiance to a specific theology, denomination or preaching style. Sadly, these associations build walls between churches instead of growing the Church community.
There are innumerable rants online every day decrying this and that (Duck Dynasty, Miley Cyrus, Mark Driscoll, etc). Bloggers and preachers alike toss one another to the wolves. You’d think some supposed “leaders” were experts at throwing people under the bus.
I doubt we’d write so scathingly with Jesus looking over our shoulder. Or better yet, staring into the face of the person we’re ripping apart over the top of our phone or computer screens.
You might have read the Bible for years, but you’d be hard pressed to find social media mentioned. I did a quick search using the YouVersion Bible app and came up with nada.
However, I did stumble upon these scriptures that cut to the heart.
“A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger quiets contention.”
“The beginning of strife is like letting out water, so quit before the quarrel breaks out.”
“Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.”
“It is an honor for a man to keep aloof from strife, but every fool will be quarreling.”
“Whoever meddles in a quarrel not his own is like one who takes a passing dog by the ears.”
It’s so easy to get sucked into bitter, hateful infighting online. Face to face it’s a lot more personal. We prefer to cower behind our screens and lob grenades at one another. I’m guilty of this too.
We aren’t perfect. We’d do well to remember our fellow man (woman, blogger, pastor, dad, wife, etc) isn’t either.
There is a time to speak. A time to stand up against injustice. We ought not stand idly by while people are hurt or hurting others. But not everything is the crisis of belief, persecution or hatred we make it out to be.
If we are taking offense where none is meant, we are the fools.
“…be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.”
Too often we get this backwards.
Are you disputatious?
Do you easily take offense?
How gracious are you towards others online vs offline?