Anyone who spends any time on social media has seen how quickly even the mildest comment can result in a deluge of nasty responses. Say something nice about someone or something and you may be vilified by a horde of strangers who disagree with you. A feeling of anonymity seems to bring out the worst in even ordinarily pleasant people. They seem to feel the overwhelming need to express an opinion on whatever they read online.
Unfortunately, this tendency exists in some Christians, as well. Inflamed by reading negative or destructive social media posts which attack their deeply held beliefs, they feel the need to defend God by responding in a hostile manner, often resulting in a war of words as posts fly back and forth.
I don’t believe anyone has ever changed their mind as a result of one of these flame wars.
5 Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. 6 Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.Colossians 4:5-6 (ESV)
Christians are to be a sweet-smelling aroma, well pleasing to God (Philippians 4:18). Hostile, aggressive social media comments stink and, like a dish over-seasoned with conflicting spices, they produce a bitter aftertaste.
Let’s all walk in wisdom, speaking graciously toward those we meet online, just as we would with the unbelievers we encounter face to face.