Love, Joy & Social Media
I read something the other day that said "never waste your time trying to explain who you are to people who are committed to misunderstanding you." - I would had "or misrepresenting you."
So I don't.
In a world of social media, people use "Friend" "Follow" and other forms of social media interaction as swords and tools of manipulation, protection, leverage in relationships. It's a weird world we've spun in this way. We block people, we unfriend and unfollow. It's got me to spend a great deal of time thinking of what relationships really should be.
In scripture there's a lot about how we should be interacting with our brothers and sisters.
I like how the Voice translates the oft quoted (and misquoted) I Corinithans 13:
Love is kind.
Love isn't envious, doesn't boast, brag or strut about.
There's no arrogance in love.
It's never rude, crude or indecent - it's not self-absorbed.
Love isn't easily upset.
Love doesn't tally wrongs or celebrate injustice -
But truth - Yes Truth - is love's delight!
Love puts up with anything and everything that comes along;
It trusts, hopes and endures no matter what.
Love will never become obsolete.
Now as for the prophetic gifts, they will not last,
Unknown languages will become silent,
And the gift of knowledge will no longer be needed.
Gifts of knowledge and prophecy are partial at best, at least for now.
But when the perfection and fullness of God's kingdom arrive,
All the parts will end.
When I was a child, I spoke , thought & reasoned in childlike ways.
But when I became a man, I left my childish ways behind.
For now, we can only see a dim & blurry picture of things,
As when we stare into polished metal.
I realize that everything I know is only a part of the big picture.
But one day, when Jesus arrives,
We will see clearly, face to face.
In that day I will know just as I have been known wholly by God.
But now faith, hope,& love remain.
These three virtues must characterize our lives.
The greatest of these is Love.
We don't know the full part of every story. But we should be looking for, seeing the best and delighting in the truth. There should be no arrogance in interaction, no presumptions about those around us.
But if you're offended or feel slighted - the first action - biblically is to go to the person at fault and discuss it like mature adults. Get that stuff out in the open first. Without arrogance, without condescension, leaving room for empathy, understanding and a genuine care. If that person matters or is genuinely cared about - we must filter every single interaction through these guidelines in 1 Corinthians 13.
Some days, I wish social media wasn't a thing. I am frequently targeted for what I call "Silencing" (being told to stop talking about things, stop posting certain topics, etc). I only found my voice as a writer in recent years, given the freedom to speak without shushing & confidence to speak my mind because my husband is my champion and wonderful partner in processing life and relationships. I love talking to him about my writing ideas and seeing his eyes light up "that's a great idea!" or "That would be awesome and could bring help to some hurting people!" Beyond that, he has a super clear understanding of people and helps me grow to be stronger, more confident as a person and as a writer. He sees the best in me. He trusts my heart. He knows that when I write, I am committed to truthful narratives (even in my own experiences that don't minimize my own fault in some circumstances) and sharing my experiences to help others find healing & hope.
It feels like social media is aimed at never fully understanding our friends interactions. It's certainly not guided by love. I wonder what it would look like if we did use Love as our primary tool to guide our interactions.
But sometimes....it's time to let bygones be bygones and let people go if they continue to misunderstand and accept misrepresentations of you. After that, you choose joy and just keep on letting the wind take your sails where they go. Truth is my delight & Joy is a natural byproduct of this.