I watched a Christian video online. It was clear and concise, and a simple presentation meant to challenge our thinking. Then I took a moment to scroll down to the comment section. Having done this before I was reasonably prepared for what I was about to read. Hundreds of people stating their opinion. There were capital letters, underlines, emojis, and bold type used in the comments. There were condescending statements, harsh criticisms and angry dialog of every form. The section consisted of the line after line of people arguing with one another about the video.
This would not bother me so much, but I see it bleeding over into our everyday conversations. There was that small group where one guy disagreed with a concept. He got loud and angry. He started an argument right there in a small group designed for spiritual growth. People had their feelings hurt. Meetings had to be held, and the wave of evil touched everyone who was present for this moment.
I wish this were the exception, but it is quickly becoming the rule. The interaction of people has become increasingly hostile, and arguments have become the norm. We each hold our opinions very dear and spend our energy convincing people we are right.
But do we? Do we accomplish anything with our arguments and verbal assault?
Think back on your life. How many times have you been changed positively by some argument being won? Maybe it was a time you won an argument or the time you watched someone else lose their battle of words. How many times have you been changed by a victorious argument?
As I review my life, I cannot think of a time that an argument has every accomplished anything positive for me. Maybe you are different, but that is my story.
With that in mind, let me ask you a couple of big questions.
1. Are you more interested in voicing your opinion or finding the truth?
2. Are you showing love and grace in your words more than anger and dominance?
3. What will be the result of your dialogue?
When the room falls silent, and the conversation is over, will there be a mess to pick up or will there be people who are better for having talked with you? My fear is that our online assertiveness is making us more calloused toward other people. We are smarter than ever yet less skilled at using that knowledge. Always remember that Jesus calls us to be a light and not a club.