The older I get, the more I learn. And the more I learn, the more I realize I don’t know. I can’t tell you how many times that thought has struck me lately. Even in my limited travels I look around me and see such vast diversity with regard to formal education, life experiences, spiritual maturity, social graces…common sense.
I’ve always held very strong convictions. Whether it was an argument of biblical truth, social justice, or just plain right and wrong. I knew what I believed and I was hard to sway. As a result some of my great regrets are things I said dogmatically, only to gain a little perspective later in life.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking about absolute truths. I’m talking about those things we tend to be impassioned about only to realize someone we thought had a good head on their shoulders seems to be equally passionate about an alternate view.
But not truth.
As believers, the reality is that we just don’t have time to waste on things that are not truth. Not in our intake of information, not in our conversations, and not in our thought life. And social media has just added a whole other level of access to the opinions of others, and ability to share our own opinions…often without much thought.
If you missed “the dress” debate last week, you must have been completely off the grid for a few days. I’m actually one of those who found the whole thing fascinating, though I realize many of you would be happy to never hear about it again! One of the things I found so interesting, was how indignant some people became when others were not able to see what they saw. (#whiteandgold btw) It was a funny thing to post on our facebook walls and tweet about to try to either irritate those closest to us or find supporters for our cause. And as most social media fads do, it quickly faded.
But those tendencies in us remain in less viral capacities. If we’re honest, sometimes we just want to bug someone we know disagrees with us. Most of the time, though, I think we’re just desperate for validation in our opinions. How often do we “like” a post because someone had the guts to say something we’ve been thinking but don’t want to say. How frequently do we hit “share” on an article that holds the same opinion we do on a touchy subject, often adding our own “just sayin'” to the status line.
I’ve certainly done it. But I’m becoming increasingly convicted of the things I allow myself to spend my energy on. And slinging opinions through social media has become one of those areas I’m finding most wasteful.
I could spend my time with Michael Jackson and his bucket of popcorn scouring the comments of news stories, or I could spend it meditating on truth.
I could focus my attention on the hurtful words of others who, in my opinion, just don’t “get it”, or I can focus my thoughts on the One who “gets” more than I ever will.
I could share an article in hopes that someone I know holds a different view might read it and be convinced of my perspective, or I could pray intentionally that God would show me the fights worth fighting and give me the wisdom to fight them with His truth.
Oh God, let me be “quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry” (James 1:19). “May the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer” (Psalm 19:14). And may I love others with brotherly love, and outdo one another in showing honor. (Romans 12:10).