Sunday, February 16, 2014

The Facebook Rant (camouflaged by scripture)...

 Alot of stuff I post on here started out as a topic of discussion on facebook. I have to admit, I've always been sort of the kind of person who likes to give out wisdom or opinion, but I fear hearing the comments in reply to me. Because I'm super sensitive. And any comment that remotely disagrees with me, I get hurt feelings. Dumb, I know. But it is what it is.

Obviously I know that we don't all agree, so it has been something I have had to work out on my own. And I have. I've gained confidence in who I am and what I say so that not every ounce of criticism drives me to offense, but I gather up the pieces that might be true and I use them to work on myself ...and on my facts, so that I am a person of integrity, not just pride.

But even so, it's not often that I will start a discussion on facebook, because I hate confrontation, nor do I think debate or argument is right. Especially when there is no end. Or if there is no specific moral right or wrong. Obviously, I am unashamed of being a follower of Christ and I will defend his truth to the core, but if you want to argue with me, I smile politely and shut up. If you want to talk or discuss something rationally and calmly in respect of one another, I will. 
Just know, I still might cry. Haha.

Usually when I say something, I do say it with confidence in what I believe. And I think hard over things and pray about things and make sure it's something I even need to share.

Maybe there are people that have no business sharing every thought that enters their mind, but I feel confident enough in myself and what God has placed in me to use discernment and write out my thoughts now and then, or to share what God is dealing with me on. And I look up to others who do the same. There are just certain people, who God placed compassion and wisdom in and who voice it well...
and somehow we all come to respect them...
and there is nothing wrong with learning from people who God placed in our lives, even if it is via social networking. We might like it or hate it, but it's a part of our culture now, and as much as we want to cherish the good ole times of talking on phone and writing letters, I doubt it's going away anytime soon. So we make good use of it.

But I have been guilty of the occasional facebook rant or vent. Now that I think about it, most facebook rants, vents or complaints that I see are by women. Ha! Hilarious. Women are so emotional and respond out of emotion. And I've seen in myself in times past, my attempt at "correcting' someone's attitude or actions or theology in the form of an generalized facebook rant, obviously backed up by scripture. (Because if it's backed up by scripture, then it's not a rant, right?)
In hopes that 'so and so" would see my status full of Godly wisdom and fall to their knees in repentance. Or is it my anonymous way to publicly shame them and hope everyone knows who I am talking to and agree with me and "like" my status?
"Yes! Amen! I know exactly who you are talking about! THEY need to hear that!"
  I don't sound mean ( I don't think), afterall it is just the word of God, but the heart behind what I have said here and there has been more out of irritation than Love...

Am I the only one?
I know I'm not, because I've seen other people do it too and it prompted me to ask this question on facebook over the weekend and I was honestly loving the feedback. Even though I KNEW I was guilty of it. 
Now, how's that for growth, huh?

This is what I wrote:
Do you think that its ok to correct or instruct someone subtly & anonymously on facebook? Even if you are using scripture to back your thought up?  I feel as though God corrected me on this awhile ago, because I've been guilty of hinting via facebook that what someone is doing or saying is wrong.
If our heart truly is to help someone specific when we go into Gods word and dig up a scripture and post it on facebook, then why not just speak or contact them directly?
Instead we use the word of God to publicly shame someone who is usually just misguided or having a bad day. And we hope they will see our status and everyone who are our mutual friends will know we are indirectly talking to them. To me, that doesn't seem like the correction is done out of love, but rather out of our own personal annoyance with what they did or said...
and it could wind up hurting someone we care about or making them feel talked about, rather than spoken to. Again, I've been guilty of this...and I felt like God spoke to me on my intention and to really watch myself on what I do or don't say something publicly, no matter what it is.
Do we get glory out of it? Does everyone applaud us for saying what needed to be said?
Or does He get the glory? Is someone really helped in this manner...?
Something to think about, I guess.

And that was what I said.

The feedback was great. No tears here! I even had some people who do not profess Christianity to join in...
and I loved this comment, very true, not taken from scripture, but truth dripped from it...

"It seems to me that making a generalized statement... In hopes of reaching a specific individual. Is cowardly and self serving... Shame, fear, and humiliation are the least effective vessels of leadership. If you have genuine concerns with an individual... Contact them directly... Without making yet another generalized statement seeking justification."

Could that be any more true? How self serving are our remarks we make? Are we only out to prove we know more scripture? That we are right?And gain the hi-fives of those around us? If our hearts are genuine, and meant to "speak the truth in love" to a specific individual, then public shame and humiliation aren't the way to do that, even if you never mention a name or are "anonymous" so to speak...

I also received this comment, which spoke volumes to me.

"I've been seeing certain people do this a lot lately. It makes me sad when I see these passive-aggressive posts that are so obviously directed at somebody...trying to disguise it behind scripture. This is definitely the opposite of being a witness. I was very upset about something I saw just yesterday and this post put a smile on my face. Bravo♥"

Granted I wasn't writing my facebook post to receive her "bravo", but simply because it resonated with me and things I would say so often, and God had dealt with me so often on it. But it was good to know that I wasn't the only one aware of these secret motives of the heart, camoflaged behind scripture make us feel justified in spouting off a rant on facebook or to make it look like we are only trying to help in our all our vast wisdom & knowledge...
and perhaps arrogance? 

Perhaps when God has challenged us or corrected us on something, from that point on we see it more often in others. But whether or not we say something about it has to come from a place of genuine LOVE, never out of irritability or disgust...and never should publicly and indirectly preach a combination letter of humiliation & correction.
This is not speaking the truth in love.

God's word isn't sent to humiliate people into obedience, but to help them...
Nor does he ask us to humble people, but people are to humble themselves.
As a matter of fact, WE are to humble ourselves...

Guidance or instruction (coming from our thoughts) in the form of a blog or facebook post may or may not be directed at a specific person or a specific group of people. Only WE know within ourselves. It all boils down to our attitude or heart while we write it or publish it. We ask ourselves, do I say this hoping someone will see this so they can see how wrong they are?
Or do I say this, out of love, because God has dealt with me on this very topic and it helped me get a grip on life a little more?

It's a matter of our heart...


Lorna mai ltd said...

I think if God has dealt with you about something then He is glorified even more when you share your experience. I don't see the harm in asking some rhetorical questions either. But we have to be careful we're not accusing, judging, isolating or condemning anyone. Once something has been said or written it can't be undone so we have a responsibility. When we write with wrong motives we may hinder what the Holy Spirit wants to do in a person's life. It's the goodness of God that leads a man to repentance. We cannot change people in our own strength and there is a wrong way to use Scripture. I guess relying on the Spirit to guide our words is crucial, as is praying for wisdom. But we're all still learning and growing. This has been a great post, lots to go away and think about.

Joy Foucault said...

This is a great topic to bring up! After all, isn't that why most people blog? It certainly was my reason for blogging for years. A pedestal to stand on and shake my fist on whatever I felt was unjust or not fair. Judging lest I be judged. It's one of the reasons I quit blogging a few months ago. It always ended in arguements on or off facebook, in my comments section, or general unrest between friends. Things would upset me and I would blog and rant. I sometimes came out and said what I meant but more often than not used camouflaged language as to not come right out and say what was really bothering me because when I did the onslaught was just too hurtful to bear. So I have retreated. I don't really share too much anymore because, well, maybe I am just a coward and to stand up for what I think is right, or what God tells me to do or say. It's much easier to do things anonymously and not suffer the consequences of public wrath. Good for you for standing up for what is right and for keeping close to Jesus to say things in just the right way He has called you to.

Cody Doll said...

I learned this lesson very early on. Back when myspace was cool I posted a poem of sorts that was directed to someone. God told me through another person that it was wrong but because I was so young, the message didn't though. Then I wrote something on Fb that had no names but was directed at people. This caused a HUGE stick and I was told how wrong it was. I realized now how and why but at the same time it helped the people that involved realize the truth. So it really is a matter of heart.
Posting your daily scripture is different then a random and directed scripture and I know that all too well.
It takes a strong person to be able too see that it is happening and the recognize that you are helping cause it.

Cody Doll said...

PS Plus if I remember reading correctly that if you do a brother wrong you should confront that brother first and then seek a wiser person to help. That was a sermon my preacher taught (dealing with drama from the church).

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