In today's social media driven world we have access to more information in a split second then ever before in the history of our planet. Tales of joy that make us smile, tales of tragedy that make us weep, tales of courage that make us proud to be a part of the human race and sadly even tales of such horrible human wickedness that we sometimes wonder how we could be cut from the same cloth. As you might know the Bible teaches us things like:
Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. -Philippians 2:3-4
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? - Matthew 5:43-48
Or ever so simply put...
Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. - 1 John 4:11
With unprecedented access to posts from friends, friends of friends, relatives and even Hollywood's who's who we are able to see what someone's opinions are on some very touchy subjects; things like politics, gun laws, gay marriage, mental health, racism, drugs, the list goes on and on. People's opinions can be based on 1st hand experience, research they have done or even just what the major news outlets shine their spotlight on. I have seen and even been involved in debates that have turned to full blown arguments because one party is so passionate about their side of the story. Imagine if these same people came to know Jesus? How passionate they could be about learning from and telling people about Jesus and what he did for us! Sadly I have seen people who were friends for years lose years of love and respect for each other over a difference of opinion. This leads me to one verse in this weeks reading:
"Spouting off before listening to the facts is both shameful and foolish." - Proverbs 18:13
I apply this to my example as thus, you need to choose your words wisely. How?
PRAY! Ask God for guidance and wisdom. Don't be so quick to give your opinion. Ask God to speak to you through His Word and give you the right things to say and respond with love, respect and be a representative of Christ in your response.
The 2nd verse in this weeks reading that can relate to this situation is:
"An offended friend is harder to win back than a fortified city. Arguments separate friends like a gate locked with bars." - Proverbs 18:19
If we waste our energy arguing our opinions and damage our relationship with a friend or loved one over some hot button issue that possibly doesn't even pertain to person experiences in our lives, that friendship or level of mutual respect that was once had may never be repaired and we may not get the chance to tell them what really matters - that you love them and Jesus loves them and God loves them as a parent loves his children. He did amazing things for them and will continue to do so through faith in Him. Or hey, just invite them to church and see what happens.