Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Rejoice The Lord Is King"1 (Lyrics)
2 Timothy 2:23 – Don't have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. (NIV)
I love debating with other people. It's part of my training as a pastor. At seminary or university, candidates for ministry are taught apologetics through class presentations or theological debates. The arguments usually spill over into the canteen area and can get very heated at times. I guess that when people are really passionate about their beliefs, confrontation and conflict are inevitable.
This happens quite a bit on social media sites, too. Ever since I joined several on the Internet, I've found myself sucked in to various theological tussles and inter-church conflicts, which have been quite severe at times. I wish that I could write that I have always kept to the high ground and not become embroiled in fiery free-for-alls. The truth is this: social media brings out the worst in me at times, and also among my Christian friends.
So, here's what I'm doing for Lent: I am going to seriously attempt to give up quarrelling on Internet sites. It's so easy to get involved in a fight or write a comment that does not help the situation. Now, this won't be simple for me either, because I can be quite self-righteous and highly opinionated at times. However, if the main purpose of Lent is to help me grow closer to Christ and value His sacrifice, then perhaps avoiding negative, belligerent comments and making positive posts instead may help me overcome this bad habit. Now, in order to enable me to be reminded of this commitment, I've taped today's verse to my laptop keyboard.
Perhaps you may feel led to do the same thing as well. It's better than giving up chocolate or candy …
Questions for personal reflection:
How do I interact with other people on social media sites? Do I honour Christ with my comments and posts?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, in the gospels, You taught about the consequences of careless words and thoughtless deeds. You commanded us to love one another, including our enemies. Forgive us when our foolish pride and strident stupidity diminish our Christian witness before other people. Help us to use this sacred season of Lent as a special time to review what we write, post, and express in our emails and comments. In Your holy name, we humbly pray. Amen.