We live in a society where we believe that everyone’s opinion is valid and should be shared at all times and at any cost. We also live in a society that if we disagree with said opinion, it is our right and duty to publicly shame, demean, insult, and discredit the person who wrote the opinion. And the question I keep coming back to is this: Why? Why are we doing this to each other? Why is it that if we disagree with someone’s thought, we can no longer have a conversation with respect, love, empathy, and understanding, but instead, turn it into a street fight where we allow hate to fester?
Yes, there are many times I will go on Facebook and see something that angers me. Sometimes, it may be something against my political beliefs. Many times, it’s against the sports teams I like. And sometimes, it’s a slap across the faith of my Jesus, demeaning my faith and my beliefs. There are many times I want to speak up. There are many times, I begin writing a huge response to combat what they have to say…and then I delete it. While I disagree with what they say, I feel like this isn’t the right way to go about talking to them about it. Why do I want to have a public debate in front of my friends and their friends that may lead to both of us hating each other more and lessening our credibility to all those who read what we have to say?
And so, for the most part, I stay silent. I try not to post anything controversial, or things that will really get people mad. Yes, with sports, I’ll take a few jab in fun, but I won’t destroy a relationship over my preference of teams. But my main goal with all that I do is to encourage and uplift when I write something.
Here is 1 Samuel 22, we see what happens when evil goes unchecked. When we allow hatred to fester. Saul commands the priests of Nob to be executed because they helped someone Saul deemed was an enemy, when he was actually his most loyal soldier.
I just don’t want that hatred to exist anymore, and instead of speaking out in a way that may injure another and destroy my ability to witness and speak the love of Christ into their lives, I rather stay silent. Instead of chewing out the person, I go directly to the Lord and ask Him to let me see them through His eyes, that this is a person he loves, a person He cherishes, and a person He wants back in relationship with Him. And isn’t it worth putting aside my petty feelings so that one more person can experience the love of Christ? Instead of pushing them away so they will reject our words, isn’t it worth pulling them close in love, so they are more open to what we have to say.
So my hope and prayer is that we as a society can learn this again. It is hard, it will be a challenge, but it begins with each one us being willing to make an active choice to stop the cycle of hate, to stop believing our opinions must be stated and validated as truth in all circumstances, and begin allow God to speak into our lives and to see them as He sees them
***Author’s note: I realize what I’m sharing here is my opinion. I understand that by saying our opinions don’t matter and by sharing this, I’m doing the opposite of what I’m writing. However, my point and hope of this is to talk about opinions where we tear each other down in hate, not, as I hope to do here, encourage us to think before we speak, or in many cases, type.