I Can Do Anything….

….but, NOT everything is beneficial. 1 Corinthians 10:23

You’ve probably heard this before, but…just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should.

That was the jist of yesterday’s message at church. Probably the most needed words I’ve had thrown my way lately. I’m guilty of jumping in with both feet to arguments that I don’t need to even show up for (especially, on social media).

I hate having such a passionate personality, sometimes.

Right now, I’m tensed up and tempted to jot down a response to what I think is utterly ridiculous on Facebook. But, I’m not. I’m so convicted by THE WORD God graciously allowed me to hear yesterday that I am putting my focus on what is better for me and the world I live in, instead.

I don’t have to show up for every argument. Neither do you.

Matter of fact, I don’t have to post snarky comments. I don’t have to push my VERY OPINIONATED comments onto anyone (I’m really sorry for stepping across any lines in the past that hurt or embarrassed anyone). Really. I am.

It seems that every social media avenue is laced with varied personalities: the religious pusher, the troll, the activist, the you must agree with me’ers, the angry political, the baiter’s (those who drop little nuggets to get you hot under the collar and run), the peacemaker, the raunchy dirty joker, the COMPLAINER, the perfect lifer, the hater, the inappropriate selfie photo’er, the education expert, the EX-whatever basher, the fight your personal battles online’er, the too much dirty laundry, the broken-hearted, the good news’er, the look at my successful lifer, the proud parent, the griever, the sickly, the fakes, the share button addicts, the hot button article poster, the instigator, the wishy-washy, the bragger, the see my success’er, the fashion addict, the partier/drinker/boozer, the positive attitude’er, the caught up in a time warp’er and just about everything in between….constantly in our faces.

It’s not good for us. It’s not good for our hearts, our minds or our joy. Controversial posts stir up something inside us that isn’t healthy. It turns us into people that look for trouble in a world that has enough trouble on its own.

Last night, I was out on a jeep drive with my family when we passed a police car all lit up down a country road. The first instinct was to yell, “Go back! I wanna see what’s happening!”. Until I thought about how foolish it is to seek out the terrible. Our society has slowly trained itself to focus on and seek out tragedy.

That’s why social media is so outlandish. It attracts the outspoken, it pulls in the weak and it lasso’s its power around what might be a good & tender heart but spits out just what the world is craving for, controversy.

I’m here to tell you….I’ve been a big fat voice of controversy. I have spoken my opinion loud and ugly. I’ve argued with friends, family and strangers. Ridiculously, argued or slammed down my opinion and left mad. Or ruined my own evening with the thoughts or frustrations of an online encounter.

Even with friends or people I love dearly. All because I disagreed with them on a topic or post. How foolish. How unfortunate.

I don’t want to be in that category anymore. I don’t want to see controversy and respond to it online. I don’t want to push hurtful or cruddy posts onto others.

I’m a believing follower of Jesus Christ. I want to act like it and show it in my speech, behavior and attitude.

argu

Look, I believe a person can post something online with a heart that wants to enlighten (but, will it?). It’s the attitude behind it that causes trouble. I know many people who post harsh statements or articles with the intention of forcing others to agree with them. It’s sad.

I’m not calling out any one friend (I promise) who posts “out there” stuff. I’m talking to myself just as much as anyone. I’m sick of Facebook. I’m sick of the political garbage. I’m sick of people hating others. I’m sick of online fights. I’m sick of meanness. I’m sick of holier than thou do gooders. I’m sick of feeling like junk after scrolling through my social media pages. I’m sick of myself.

your job is

I can’t do what God has called me to do if I’m finding fault with everyone and everything I see on social media. I can’t be the light, I can’t be the truth, I can’t be the child of God that leads others to HIM – when I’m plowing through social media with a fine-tooth comb and a loaded gun opinion.

I have to bow out of this habit of joining in and clicking share when I see something controversial or “thought provoking”. Not everything has to be shared.

stop posting

Here’s some questions FOR ME to ask MYSELF when I feel pulled to respond or argue on social media:

1) Is my opinion going to make an impact on those who read what I say?

2) Will my strong opinion HELP others grow?

3) Is this opinion in line with my convictions? Is it holy, Godly, Christ-like, loving, kind?

4) Would I say it (my strong opinion) to every face of the persons reading it online?

I pray, from here on out that I’m a more thoughtful friend and family member online and off. It’s not my job to shut down the jerks of the world. It is my job to worry about ME!!

God,
Your amazing love for me blows my mind. In spite of me, you still find me lovable and worthy. In spite of my popping off mouth or quick to judge attitude, you offer me grace. Thank you, God.
Amen.

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