“The world is full of people.” That statement should come as no surprise.  Neither should this one.  “The world is full of people who have opinions.”  Many of whom will differ from yours.  THAT’S OK.

On Facebook recently I was reminded of this.  I shared what I thought was a simple image.  I was attacked personally with false accusations by a “friend” who disagreed with my thoughts.  I acted with all courtesy, invited this individual to stop attacking and start talking, and to have a calm dialog.  Needless to say that didn’t happen and I was forced to unfriend someone for the first time on Facebook.

We need to be careful about the things we post and say.  The world is filled with folks who can’t have a rational discussion.  Rather, they turn to personal attacks and false accusations when someone disagrees with them.  Are you in that number?  When someone disagrees with you, do you turn defensive, hateful, or combative?

Christians cannot resort to such behaviors.  That simply does not follow the example that Christ has set for us.  We have to love everyone.  We have to treat everyone with kindness and courtesy.  Admittedly that is difficult.  But that is what we are commanded to do (Matthew 5 and Romans 12).  How we treat others is a huge testament to Christ and His church, or should be.

Would Jesus be pleased with how you responded to someone on social media or over the water cooler?  Would Jesus be pleased with your smug condescension of someone on the other side of the political/social/economical aisle?       

James spends an entire chapter (chapter 3) dealing with the tongue and the problems it causes.  Keep in mind that in today’s world we say more things with our thumbs and fingers than our mouth some days.  Your righteousness is dependent on what and how you communicate.  More problems are started by running our proverbial mouths than any other way.

As a Christian, how do you speak?  Are you different at worship, work, school, on social media?  You should be the same across the board.  God is unchanging and we should seek to take a page from His book.  How would your life be different if your yay was yay and your nay was nay.  How would it change if you, like Paul, taught (or spoke) the same thing in all places?

I challenge you this week to speak as an oracle of God.  To encourage/build up and not tear down.  To seek to have rational and civilized conversations with people, especially the ones with whom you don’t agree.  Don’t be a troll when you go online (someone who intentionally antagonizes others with comments).  Seek to be the better person and to take the high road all the time.  After all, that is what God expects from you.