“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” -John 13:34-35
Tonight I nearly incited a riot on Facebook. I put up a status basically stating that I hate the word till (preferring the word until). I thought it was written in such a way that people could tell I was joking around and not that I was harboring actual hateful feelings. I was talking about a word after all. A rather innocuous 14th century word. The status created a firestorm of controversy. The way that one of my friends responded you would think I wrote that I hate a member of her family or something. She began talking about the power of the tongue and blessing and cursing and sent me a private message saying that more people would be in the church if I watched my mouth more. I was flabbergasted. It was a joke! About a word! Really, it was just me expressing a pet-peeve of mine, but I miscalculated how it would be received.
Several friends came to my defense since they recognized the intent of my post. Unfortunately, this resulted in my Christian friends arguing back and forth on my status. This made me incredibly sad. All I could think about is all my non-Christian friends who were reading it. I couldn’t help but think that seeing Christians lashing out at each other over something so petty would be more likely to keep them out of church than the fact that I used the word hate in my status. Perhaps I shouldn’t have used that word; it is certainly a learning experience for me; but oh, how I wish we Christians could learn to disagree in love. I implore all my brothers and sisters to please please consider how people in the world perceive us when we attack each other like this. Even in cases where one of us might be theologically or doctrinally wrong, we need to be gentle and conscientious when discussing these matters in front of the lost.
In the end I opted to post the song below as a gentle reminder. It seems to have worked as the woman who messaged me then apologized. I wrote back stating there were no hard feelings and I would be more careful about how I worded things in the future. So far the riot appears to have been quelled. I am disturbed that a religiously and politically neutral post could so quickly spiral out of control, but that is the world we live in these days. I take comfort that there was peaceful resolution. As Christians I would like to encourage us all to strive to avoid offense, turn the other cheek, and love each other better.
In His Love,