It's A Free-for-All Out There Y'all!

It’s a free for all out there, y’all! 

Social Media has become one of the most angry, opinionated, divisive types of communication there has ever been.  What happened to those proper and accepted “social” rules of etiquette or of quiet respect for one another?

What happened to listening more than speaking?

What happened to keeping the minor things minor?

What happened to using wisdom and consideration before lowering oneself to accusation and indictment?

It’s a free for all out there, y’all!

Listening to the news networks or tuning into talk radio has become akin to subjecting yourself to the worst kind of verbal skirmish known to humanity.  The words fly like bullets across a lethal battlefield of airwaves and the blood bath is real and nondiscriminating.

“He said ….”

“She said …”

“It has been reported that …”

“The facts seem to point to …”

Reporters, TV hosts, radio personalities and network bigwigs use profanity and name-calling in order to build their personal case and their preferred agenda.

And for me, the saddest part of all, is that Christians have been suckered in to participating in the verbal vomit and sewage spewing of the day. 

Just because you feel it doesn’t mean that you should say it and just because you have an opinion doesn’t mean that you should use it as a weapon.

Do you really think that you can change anyone’s opinion with strong, outrageous and often cruel words on Social Media?  The way that we can change people is by loving them, by forgiving them and by introducing them to Wisdom Himself!

There is certainly a way to enter into a peaceful conversation of differing opinions but in general, that is not going to happen on Social Media.  It is vitally important for voices of righteousness to be heard in the land but that will never happen when it is accompanied by divisive verbiage and outright slander.

When engaging in a discussion that involves contrasting points of view, it is best when it happens face to face rather than Facebook page to Facebook page.

I have enjoyed the treasured reconnection with old friends, far-flung family members and new acquaintances that Social Media has ushered into my life.  But I determined early in my use of Social Media that I would not use it as a bully pulpit or as a place to editorialize on temporary matters.

People are subject to far too much opinion, anger and political polarization from watching the network news and from listening to incessant media types. I long for my purpose in life to be one of kind words, thoughtful wisdom and humble friendship.

If you ask for my opinion on a given political topic or cultural division, I may or may not give you my two cents based on the context of relationship and purpose.  I do have opinions … I have strong opinions; however my opinions on politics or on the great cultural divide are not what define me as a human being.

What defines me is my faith as a believer in Jesus Christ.

Who I am, as a modern day woman, is a zealous pilgrim who lives to make hell smaller and heaven bigger. 

It’s a free for all out there, y’all!

Although I don’t have a daily TV show and no one has asked me to be their guest on Fox News, CBS or ABC lately, I will use the small platform that I have been given to be a voice of encouragement and a source of hope.

You know what?  The truth is this … I really don’t care who you voted for in this last presidential election.  What I care about is that you know Jesus as your Lord and Savior and that you are doing your personal best every day to simply love Him, know Him and serve Him.

Now I do believe that Christians are called to serve in the political arena and in the world of media.  I actually believe that there should be more Christians in both of those fields.  I believe that for many believers in Jesus Christ there is a calling to participate in leading a nation, a network or a political organization.  However, I also believe, that for those who are called specifically to those arenas, it is even more important to use their words as tools of truth and unity rather than of anger and divisiveness.

It is true, that sometimes truth can be divisive.  It is true that oftentimes even wise opinions are polarizing but it is in the way that a person expresses himself or herself that becomes the paramount issue.

Since most of us are not congressman or senators and since the great majority of those who read this weekly blog do not have high profile positions in the media, perhaps what we need to realize is that the way to change the blood bath is by simply changing our daily conversations.

“Like apples of gold in settings of silver is a word spoken in right circumstances.” – Proverbs 25:11

The next time that you post on Social Media, don’t be negative but choose words of simple power and positive blessings.

The next time that you are tempted to enter into a heated conversation on Facebook, pray for those involved instead.

The next time the President disappoints you, Congress votes against your personal opinion, or someone from another generation causes your blood pressure to rise, perhaps you could post the lyrics to a worship song … or a word of encouragement … or a beloved Scripture verse.

It’s a free for all out there, y’all, so freely post what is good and positive and pure! 

There is a world out there that is desperate for one small tidbit of encouragement today.  There is an angry, critical mob on Facebook who might listen to words of reason rather than words of polarizing opinion.

Freely use your platform as one that builds people up rather than tears them down.

And perhaps we should begin every day by praying the prayer that David prayed so long ago,

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, Oh Lord.” – Psalm 19:14

Thanks for listening to my heart this week.  As you know by now, my heart is truly not a perfect heart but it is a heart that is filled to overflowing with gratitude for the life I have been given and for the people who walk with me.  And, it continues to be a heart that is relentlessly chasing after God and all that He is!