Monday, June 29, 2015

Something to Stand For

After a weekend of watching my Facebook feed turn into a battle between Somewhere Over the Rainbow and the We-Think-We're-Righteous Brothers I feel the need to share some simple truths:

* No person has ever had their mind changed by a Facebook avatar.  Not one.  It is simply not possible to change someone's heart by using your profile picture or your status update to say I'M RIGHT AND YOU'RE WRONG.

* If you think that all of your friends share your view of the world, you don't know your friends.  Name-calling and ascribing evil motives to anyone who disagrees with you damages people, and it damages your friends.  It doesn't matter what side of an argument you are on; being right is never more important than being kind.

* It's more important for you to love people than to correct them.  Correcting them is not your job.  Loving them is.

* The world will not end if it is deprived of your opinion on every issue.

* It is usually more important to have open ears than an open mouth.

* And finally, God loves all of His children.  ALL of them.  You should do the same.  

There will never be a time when every person will agree on everything.  We are different people with different backgrounds, different experiences, and different beliefs.  But whether we are pro-life or pro-choice, pro-gay marriage or pro-traditional marriage, all of us can -- and should -- be one thing:



Errolyn said...

You nailed it, Bonnie! So true

Peggy said...

Thank you for the voice of reason

Marlene Austin said...

I agree to a certain extent, but there are a couple of things we need to consider--not necessarily in their order of importance:

I, for one, have gained new understandings into ideas by reading other's comments.

I think it is essential that we do learn to express our views and listen to others in order to learn to compromise. Practice makes perfect only if you
are practicing the right way, so we need to learn how to discuss important matters and be open to new information in the right manner.

There are times when we need to change our hearts; sometimes about our ideas, sometimes (and maybe more often) about the love we show as
we express our opinions. Though it may be harder to show our love through media comments, I do believe it is possible and that we should
make it a habit to try.

And, when spiritual leaders suggest we use the media to spread our knowledge, though we don't have to do it about everything, if we are really
seeking guidance, there are ideas that can be advanced through comments and social media.

And yes, there are times when we must learn to say, Enough! but that might be by skipping a comment in our reading as much as not writing
everything we think about a comment.

Perhaps as important as any other reason, We are entitled and guaranteed by the Constitution the privilege of expressing ourselves and we should be ever conscious and grateful for that right and responsibility.

Bonnie said...

Marlene, you make some good points. I in no way intended to imply that we should never share our opinions or beliefs. Certainly there are conversations that need to be had and times when we should open our mouths (after all, I am a blogger. Sharing my opinion is what I do), but I am firm in the belief that hearts cannot be changed when we reduce the discussion to an inflammatory meme or a pithy profile picture or a status update that basically says I JUST WANT YOU TO KNOW THAT I STILL BELIEVE YOU'RE WRONG. By all means, write a thoughtful blog post or comment and share your sincere beliefs. But more people should examine their motives and reasons for posting things -- why am I posting this? Is it helpful? Is it kind? What good/harm will be done by my saying this? etc. Just because something is true doesn't mean it always needs to be said (particularly when emotions are running high). The most important thing I want my friends (and family and neighbors and even strangers) to know is that I love them and will be there for them no matter what life choices they make. If they know I love them -- really sincerely love them -- then perhaps I will have the opportunity to teach them about God's love for them.

I appreciate your thoughtful comments! Thanks for stopping by!