"Social Media Interactions: Am I a bully or a blessing?"

Social Media has changed the way we eat, talk, think, react, evangelize, and live.  Some of these items can be good...while others...well, they speak for themselves.

I have been a member of a social media site of some sort for quite a few years now.  That stems from a love of computing and technology and interactions with people...those that I know...and those that I don't.  It has become a "way of life" it seems in many instances.

But, what do you do when that "way of life" isn't really the life that you actually live?  Well, much like in any other avenue, you have to decide how to get a handle on a situation, decide an affirmative plan to change the situation, and then implement it.

Recently, our "social media" worlds have been on fire, so to speak.  We have arguments over rights, arguments over politics, arguments over truth, arguments over arguments!  So, how are we behaving during all of this arguing?  Let's take a closer look at how our responses should be seen, felt, and can be heard!

1.  Am I posting or replying in a fashion that would be seen as Christ-like?

 In order to answer this question, we have to think about a few things first.

  • Is what I am posting or replying with what I really need to say?
  • Have I thought about how my words can hurt or help someone in the discussion?
  • Is it something that would upset, anger, or insult me if it were someone else saying this to me?
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. Ephesians 4:29 ESV

2.  Is what I am posting truth?  Or am I inciting gossip or unnecessary turmoil?

The writer of Proverbs has some very wise words for us in answer to this particular question.  I will let these verses speak for themselves.

There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers. Proverbs 6:16-19 ESV
Whoever meddles in a quarrel not his own is like one who takes a passing dog by the ears. Proverbs 26:17 ESV

Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits. Proverbs 18:21 ESV

3.  Am I being a bully...or am I being a blessing?

This question is the whole basis of the blog that you are reading.  As I have looked back on some of my own responses and posts for a few days, I have to ask myself this very question.  

Sometimes we may lose sight of what our words can do to others.  Sometimes, we may even lose sight of what our words may do to ourselves!  We should not be exonerated in making someone upset over something.  We should not be happy when we "tell them like it is", especially when the topic revolves around the Bible.  We should want to kindly explain our thoughts and try to influence others for good in the way that we respond, the way that we post, and the way that we live.

Think about how much of a blessing someone's words have meant to you at one point or another.  Maybe they complimented you on an appearance, or maybe they congratulated you on an accomplishment.  Maybe they just offered a well wish for a great day to you.  Do you remember how that made you feel?

Now, think about that other time when someone replied to a comment, or the post that someone posted just had to be about you (although most times it has nothing to do with you - I am guilty of reading into those myself).  How did that make you feel?  Did you spend hours trying to figure out how to respond?  Did you immediately post something venomous in a reaction to maybe some harsh words...or possibly some words that may have been meant as a help and not a hurt to start with?  I know I have. And it really does much more harm than good.

Be a blessing...not a bully.  I am talking to myself, but if you read this blog, maybe you can share my thoughts with your own heart too.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Philippians 4:8 ESV

May God Bless each and every one of you and may you be a blessing to others!

Joey Ferrell

Rock Hill church of Christ, Readyville, TN