A long time ago, as a young boy, I took my first motorcycle ride on my own. I had no instruction, no warning, and certainly no idea of the power that was in that little engine. While I understood the general idea of the throttle activated by the handgrip, I was not well versed on how the brakes worked – nor did I have experience steering the thing.
Sure enough, I gave it gas (a lot of gas), let out the clutch and away I went – straight into a barbed wire fence. I just remember hanging on for dear life. Embarrassed, cut up and with a scratched (and borrowed) motorcycle, I lived to learn the lesson of underestimating the machine and the chain of events that would happen when I gave it gas.
In these past few weeks, I’ve watched something painfully similar unfold in social media circles regarding events far and wide. We’ve lost control of the machine. We’ve allowed emotion, assumptions, and self-righteousness to drive us into the fence. I’ve seen anger in the posts of somewhere I’ve never seen it before. Who are you and how did you become this way? I think I know: you’ve watched the world and how this game is played there.
It’s a game of paper prophets, committees of one, and communication that has no question marks – just exclamation marks. Why can’t we have a conversation? One where questions are asked and the exchange of information takes place before the railing begins?
This is not our game. This is not our way. We don’t communicate like this. Not in the kingdom. Not in God’s family or denomination.
With care and restraint, we must remember:
*Speech is to be seasoned with grace – so it brings grace to the hearer (in this case the whole world)
*Facts are to be verified by two or three witnesses before judgment is brought
*We’re to be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger.
*We really, really need to stay on mission.
Social media engines are powerful. They make an audience out of everyone. That can also make a target out of anyone. Even you. Remember you have brakes – the restraint of wisdom and patience. We have handlebars – to steer clear of a damaging testimony and harsh judgment before facts are clear. We should ALWAYS stand for what’s right—and do so with great passion. However, when we resort to arguing, fighting, and attempting to destroy each other, we only hurt ourselves and the mission to which He’s called us.
And, at the very least, we can act like we believe that God is in control and will show us how to deal with all we’re facing when we gather face to face. He’s managed to do that well—long before the internet became a thing.
Thoughts from John Meador and insights from God's Word.