Don’t say anything that would hurt another person. Instead, speak only what is good so that you can give help wherever it is needed. That way, what you say will help those who hear you.
Don’t give God’s Holy Spirit any reason to be upset with you. He has put his seal on you for the day you will be set free from the world of sin.
Get rid of your bitterness, hot tempers, anger, loud quarreling, cursing, and hatred. Be kind to each other, sympathetic, forgiving each other as God has forgiven you through Christ.~ Ephesians 4:29-32 (God's Word Translation)
I must be honest and say that I am weary of seeing and sickened by the barrage of posts and pictures coming through my news feed on Facebook, on Twitter and even on Instagram, about the verdict of the George Zimmerman trial, along with the ugly, snarky by-lines and comments that accompany them.
Emotions are running high among 'just plain folks' like you and I, as well as amid celebrities, and the verbiage that pops up like out-of-control July 4th fireworks from both camps is, in my opinion, causing more damage, division and destruction than anything else.
I said this before, and I'll say it again -- think before your fingers touch your keyboard today. THINK before you hit the POST or SEND button today. And tomorrow. And the next. Don't let negative emotions taint your words and turn them into harmful, verbal poison. Once they're out there, you can't take them back.
Please think about the impact you are having upon people, especially young people with whom you may be friends, who are reading your posts and Tweets, who may be looking to you for guidance, leadership and understanding of what has taken place.
My pastor likes to remind us often -- and thankfully so -- that if we are not part of the solution, we are part of the problem.
I ask you: Can we just STOP adding to the noise by this verbal and pictorial perpetuation of hate, distrust and division??
In a different translation (NIV) of the verse I referenced above from the book of Ephesians, the apostle Paul implored the church at Ephesus:
'Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths.'
And earlier in this passage, Paul urges his readers to
'speak the truth in love.'
Are we not to take these same words and apply them to our lives & situations today? Sadly, I'm not seeing much of that here on social media from many people -- even and especially from those who claim to align themselves with Jesus and call themselves Christians.
So like my pastor and like the apostle Paul, I feel led to remind, implore and urge everyone today:
Please stop being part of the problem. Please stop 'stirring the soup.' Please stop promoting hatred and inciting angry, hurtful and violent emotions.
Maybe it's time to take a much needed break from television, radio and social media. Maybe it's time to go for a walk, read a book, take a drive, a bike ride or a swim.
Or maybe it's time to find a quiet, solitary place, drop to our knees in humility and pour out our complaints and questions, anger and frustrations to the One -- the ONLY One -- Who can take our ilk and ire, the One Who is Sovereign. Who is Righteous. Who is Just and Justice itself. Who is God.
God -- The One Who showed His great love for us by sending His Son, Jesus Christ, to die for us while WE were still sinners. Selah
Can we forgive as Christ forgave? Can we offer mercy and grace as Christ offered mercy and grace to those who only offered Him hostility, hatred, violence and injustice?
"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." ~ Dr. Martin Luther King