Words hurt. when I was a kid there was phrase we used: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never harm me.” What a lie. Words can really hurt.
Why do people say mean things? Sometimes they want attention. Sometimes they really want to inflict pain on you. However, many times they just allow foolishness and ignorance to overtake them in the heat of the moment. Add social media to the equation and in a matter of seconds the whole world can read those harmful and hateful words. How should a Christian react when someone else uses a social media forum as the outlet?
#1 Consider the Savior. Pray for them. The Lord needs to work on their heart before you get involved. Don't immediately respond to their hurtful words... this will only fuel the fire! Don't repay evil with evil. Consult with the Prince of Peace and the God of Peace. Only then can you become a peacemaker.
#2 Consider the Source. This person may be hurting more than you can imagine. They may not realize how far their statements can reach. After some prayer and soul searching they may delete the comment, thread, tweet, etc. Or they may just not know how God feels about loving others (even your enemies), dealing with persecution, public slander, gossip, back-biting, judging, hypocrisy, true servanthood, defamation of character, or doing good to those of the household of faith.
#3 Consider the Scriptures. The Bible has commands on how to handle that person. Verses like Matthew 5:23-24, Matthew 18:15-17, Galatians 6:1-2, etc. should help you with the next step. Jesus didn't "un-friend" Peter when he denied him, he didn't "un-friend" James and John when they wanted to burn a city to the ground, he didn't "un-friend" Judas when he knew he was talking to the Jewish leaders about betrayal and stealing out of the treasury.... AND He doesn't "un-friend" you just because you say things that are silly or inappropriate.
You are loved!
Dr. Ray Reynolds
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