Recently I wrote a post, titled, ‘Some days are just too much.’ That’s because I kept watching so many of us go through trying situations that for the most part, could be described as relatively minor, but nevertheless mattered.
But it’s the continued challenges, difficulties, and surprises that catch us off guard and cause us to be weary.
I’m always assured that whatever comes my way will pass sooner, rather than later, and that things will get better. At least that’s the thought process I keep at the forefront of my positive attitude.
Occasionally though it’s not the way life works. Sometimes it’s the surprise ‘sucker punch’ that comes totally out of left field, and from those you least expect.
Such has been the case this week for one of my sweet friends. After listening to her describe some very petty situations on social media, I decided to spend a few minutes reflecting on my own social media voice.
By all standards I’m a private person. I fiercely guard my character and integrity and I’m very particular about what I share personally on any platform. The majority of what I do post is about my job and my women’s ministry. Occasionally I add a teeny, tiny bit about my family.
I’ve made it a practice to never share my opinions on hot topics because it’s not worth it, and no one wins. I’ve also never vented about anything or anyone on social media. Not even once.
It’s not what God wants from me and He would be none too pleased if I did.
A favorite set of verses that I rely on as truth come from 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. The overarching theme in this group of scriptures is, ‘To never underestimate the power of speaking with love.’
But like many others, I too can make a misstep without even knowing it.
I could in the midst of my busyness unintentionally leave someone out of a conversation, or absent-mindedly make an innocent comment that holds no importance to anyone but me.
But like my friend learned the other day, nothing prepares us for the way people react. Even after talking our way through the written conversation, we still couldn’t figure out what she said that ruffled feathers.
When this happens I am convinced that someone consciously makes the decision to cause conflict. It is an attempt to create drama. Well I have zero time for someone else’s drama and I won’t participate in it.
Thankfully through the years I’ve only encountered a couple of minor things that I just chalked up to people being thoughtless and selfish. But I’ve read thousands of horrible, mean, and incredibly rude comments that people had no right to make. But they did.
I’m not perfect and I don’t pretend to be perfect. In fact, I don’t know a single, solitary soul who is.
Hence, my serious consideration and careful editing of what I do post to social media. And because of the recent experiences of my friend, I’ll be even more cautious about how I respond or if I choose to respond at all.
Ephesians 4:29 reminds us to, ‘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.’
How very important to store up these treasured words in our hearts to protect us from none other than ourselves.
So when the snarky, out of the blue comment shows up in your news feed, or on Twitter, or a chat coversation, never fear who it is meant for. Just rest in His word that you won’t return the unkind thoughts. We are to never treat others poorly in any way, on any platform, regardless of how we are treated. I do believe when any of us experience these unkind moments, it’s usually more about the other person’s need to be heard.
But instead of lashing out at them, I will choose to be gracious, forgive, and overlook the insensitive, uncalled for, and even sometimes vicious remarks. I know it is through God’s grace that I can do this. And I’m so thankful that we are given more grace than any of us deserve.
God’s word tells us in Matthew 7:12, ‘So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you.’ That is the golden rule. What a glorious way to live in if we all practiced this on a daily basis.
Like many things in life it is often the small setbacks that make the big impressions. I believe the lesson takeaway here is for us to create a kinder, gentler place within which we can choose to live.
So here are 5 ways to make your words matter:
- Always speak words of grace, truth, love, and kindness.
- Keep your friends and family members close to you. Think before you speak or act. Avoid bouts of jealousy or feelings of entitlement. Each person is valued and brings something special to the relationship. And you never know which one of them will be needed down the road.
- Refrain from being judgmental at all times. You will be amazed at how much lighter your life load will be without the extra baggage.
- Remember our ability to extend grace goes far beyond our human capacity. God gives us what we need, when we need it the most.
- And finally, think about what you post publicly. Your words are there for all to see. They can be deleted, but not before the damage is done.
I’m praying for us to be covered by God’s hand of protection and that He will guard our lips in the days to come so that we only speak words of love and kindness.
Blessing & Hugs.