I’m a very nonconfrontational person. Luckily, this usually keeps me from offending others or getting into useless debates about trivial topics or participating in potentially explosive conversations. Unfortunately, some people seem to thrive on controversy and/or creating disturbances, saying whatever they think whenever they think it, whether on social media or in everday interactions.
While there are always important issues going on in our lives and in the world overall that need to be brought to light and discussed with love, understanding, and compassion, all too often these discussions dissolve into disagreements filled with misunderstanding, name calling, and hatred. In these cases, no one wins.
I’m sure you have heard or seen this advice many times, but it bears repeating, “THINK before you speak or post” (using the guides below) even if you believe you are right or doing someone a favor or you’ve got a great snappy comeback line.
“God hasn’t asked us to be right all the time. He has called us to love. This is the harder, braver choice because it requires opening our hearts instead of our mouths. It’s about seeing each other not as threats but as people made in the image of God. It means we lay down our weapons and go, with arms wide open, down a path that could very well lead to a cross.” Holley Gerth, Love Is Still Stronger Than Fear
Let’s commit to using our words more for showing love rather than hate or discontent. Think of the differences we can each make every day in bringing others hope and happiness rather than hurt and despair. Below is a Commitment of Words written by Holley Gerth a decade ago; I hope these words, which are still valid today, will help you realize that it’s possible to lift others up and walk beside them, even if we disagree with them.
God, You are the Maker of all human beings, those who are most dear to us and those with whom we disagree. Give us eyes to see others as You do, a heart that has compassion like Yours, and the strength to keep on loving [no matter what]. Amen. (HG)