Though social media can have its downfalls, such as emotional vomit or the over sharing of ones life, it does have a number of positives that should not be ignored. One such positive is the open and honest conversation that can be had between complete strangers. Time and time again I have seen these conversations play out via Twitter, Reddit or Youtube. These conversations are not always civil but that’s the way of the internet.
There is a common thread in the occurrence of these conversations. Firstly, someone will make a statement that they believe to be true, or at least true in their situation, and leave it at that. Then, undoubtably, someone with a different idea about this same subject will come along and pose an entirely different view on the subject. Listing counter points to the original idea. This feed back wasn’t asked for, but the Internet lends itself to the idea that if you post something then you obviously want a reply.
I have seen this play out on a myriad of different subject when recently one caught my attention more so than the rest. It had to do with a sarcastic comment by an anonymous pastors account on twitter (which come to find out there are a lot of –> Here, here, here and here). People started replying saying that she shouldn’t be “so negative , “trust in Gods will” or “stop complaining”.
This is just one example of many that I have seen. The idea here is that Christians don’t respond well to negativity. We apparently can’t handle it. There seems to be some unspoken rule that if you do have something negative to say you should keep it to yourself.
I find this unspoken rule to be both irritating and wrong. The best Biblical example of this seems to be King David. If we are honest about his situation we should all be glad he didn’t have Twitter around during his day. Can you imagine the roller coaster ride of tweets he would have sent out? He would have surely been scolded for being “too negative” or “not trusting in God”.
The truth is that hard times and hard people are a part of life. We can not simply avoid them. There will always be something that comes up that is unexpected and unwanted. As Christians I think it would be foolish to assume that we, or those around us, should just brush these events off and put on a happy face. Faking happiness isn’t going solve the problem.
On the flip side of this we should also not descend into bitterness. In difficult times and hard situations it is easy to slip into a bitter mindset. During these times we build up walls and lock the doors. We don’t let anyone into our life. A great indicator that you may be in this place in your life is that you continually use the phrase, “I’m alright”. The “I’m alright” band aid will get you out of most hard conversations. Most people will back off and leave you alone.
What you need is the same thing that those that have anonymous twitter accounts need. You need people who are willing to go through the hard times with you. You need real friends that will let you verbally vomit for hours and step in when you cross the line.
Now all of the above is leading to my point. We need to become better friends with those we live life with. We are so prone to try to fix things. When we come to a difficult situation or someone starts to tell us about a negative truth in their lives we try to find the silver lining. Sometimes there is no forcible sliver lining. We just have to wait, pray and most importantly trust in God.
We will not always have the words to say and that’s ok. Don’t try to make the right words. If there are no words to speak, let your presence speak. Let the actions you do speak louder than the words you could ever say.
Truthfully they need it more than you think.