Proverbs 15:16-18 (New International Version)
16 Better a little with the fear of the Lord than great wealth with turmoil. 17 Better a small serving of vegetables with love than a fattened calf with hatred. 18 A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict, but the one who is patient calms a quarrel.
Picture this: you wake up in the morning feeling the weight of ‘five more minutes’, so in an attempt to outlast the grogginess, you pick out your phone and open whichever social media platform first drifts across your field of vision. You begin strolling down notification lane, barely registering the onslaught of posts from friends and acquaintances alike, until one of them piques your attention. Someone just stained your feed with the dumbest, most ignorant thought you’ve heard all day! Regardless of whether or not the comments under this atrocity have blown up, you can feel in your gut - they’re about to.
In the fast-paced virtual reality we share with ones and zeros, information, viewpoints, and opinions are more accessible than at any point in history. It is only natural that humanity’s ability and capacity to react have been inexorably revised, so can the Bible shine any light onto the way frontiersmen duel in the World Wild West?
In the moment, the words and ideas others share online can provoke such a visceral feeling of anger and disgust that it only feels right to smite them where they type. After all, umbrage alone is not a sin! No one knows this better than the Lord Himself, whose righteous anger leaves no room for vices. Yet, these judgments are not ours to dispense – they are His. While we are called to keep each other accountable, we must still, in all things, showcase the love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ.
Before You Proceed
In the grand scheme of God’s plan, so much of what’s argued online is not important or even worth our time. When mindsets we do not agree with light a flame under our seats, it only takes a moment to step away and reevaluate the way we respond. Even in the wake of those who try to provoke, it is better to wait in silence than to succumb to the defense of our own egos.
Words are just as powerful pixelated as they are when spoken. It’s easy to feel a certain disconnect from people and conversations online, so we must have perspective. Patience is the key. With it comes the ability to reassess the way we react, through a lens of fairness and respect, that will illustrate the character of Christ in all we post.
Ecclesiastes 7:8 (New International Version)
8 The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride.