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Monday, November 27, 2017

The Law of Kindness: Six Ways to Bless Others on Social Media

I was scrolling through my social media feed this morning, and I saw these expressions:
“He deserved that!” (a negative consequence of his actions)
“Why (some people) wish (named person) were dead.”
“Hate speech”
“(Named person) said what needed to be said.”

The Bible says that one of the characteristics of a virtuous woman is: She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness (Proverbs 31:26).

In fact, the Bible often encourages people to be kind.
  • But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil (Luke 6:35).
  • Charity (love) suffereth long, and is kind (1 Corinthians 13:4a).
  • And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you (Ephesians 4:32).

I understand why we get exasperated with others’ foolish actions and words. I do, too! It’s only normal to notice unwise acts and words and judge them. I get it. Many times, I just turn off the TV news because of the way people act.

As Christians, are we supposed to go around being less than gracious? I don’t think so. We are responsible for our reactions.

A preacher has the right to call out sin, and I believe all Christians can present what the Bible says. From time to time, I’ve written blog posts about subjects like: abortion, pornography, abuse, homosexuality, cheating, drug use, and terrorism. I try to do so in a kind way, as many people practice these sins, and the solution to every sin problem is the gospel of Christ. My purpose is always to point people to Jesus. (If you ever see otherwise in my posts or detect an unkind spirit, please call me out. I mean it.) I want people to be aware and alert and ultimately to go to the Lord for the healing of their souls. Jesus said, Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28).

Do people sometimes act stupid? Of course. Do some people need to be called out? Yes, by those in authority to do so. Is there any excuse for hate speech? No, the Bible is against all hate speech. Should anyone ever wish another person dead? No, that’s entirely for God to decide.

I resolved years ago not to comment one way or another on certain kinds of posts. It has saved me emotionally. I can just scroll on by! A few times, someone else has tried to lead me into controversy. When I see this, I usually refrain from answering. A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger (Proverbs 15:1). In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise (Proverbs 10:19).

You might want to prayerfully consider your own boundaries. To what kinds of posts will you not comment? Which ones are better left alone? The flipside, of course, is: where can you be a blessing and encouragement?

What are some practical ways to sow kindness with our social media postings?
  1. Think like Philippians 4:8. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true … honest, … just, … pure, … lovely, … of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
  2. Avoid unnecessary controversies. But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes (2 Timothy 2:23).
  3. Post to encourage. Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another (Romans 14:19).
  4. Use social media as a prayer list. Many of my friends ask for prayer for family members, themselves, and friends. I try to stop and pray for each one and write a short note to let them know I’m praying for them. This can be a great ministry. I thank my God, making mention of thee always in my prayers (Philemon 1:4).
  5. Share Scripture. I love it when a friend adds a Scripture verse to a pretty photo. It’s great to read a Bible verse as you scroll down your newsfeed. For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope (Romans 15:4).
  6. Be joyful. Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost (Romans 15:13).

There are enough negative voices on social media.

You can make a positive difference!

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