I wrote a post recently encouraging Christians to be less mean—especially online. It was called “When Did Christians Become So Mean?”
It seems to me we’ve lost some of our civility when it comes to what we post on social media. We are quick to blast a company that we feel has wronged us. We criticize people—right on their Facebook page. We load the comment section of a blog post with crushing blows.
Surely you’ve seen it. The web has made it much easier to be a critic.
But it’s also done in public. I’ve seen Christians I know act like jerks in a restaurant or grocery store. I consistently hear of bosses who serve at church, smiling, on Sunday but are mean to employees during the week.
It all has to hurt our witness as Christians.
The post got a little attention. Actually, some people proved the need for the post by the way they responded. Still others asked for some suggestions of how we could improve—some even wanted examples.
I've decided not to share specific examples. In my opinion, that would be mean. So, you’re meanness will remain anonymous in this post. If you are mean, most likely others already know your name.
I did decide to share some ways we can be less mean online, though. Here are a dozen suggestions:
1. Consider others better than yourself (Phil. 2:3).
2. Forgive one another (Eph. 4:32).
3. Love one another (John 13:34).
4. Be kind and compassionate to one another (Eph. 4:32).
5. Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry (James 1:19).
6. Treat others as you would want to be treated (Luke 6:31).
7. Have the mind of Christ (Phil. 2:5).
8. Remember kindness leads to repentance (Rom. 2:4).
9. Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit (Ps. 34:13).
10. Honor everyone (1 Pet. 2:17).
11. Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them (Eph. 4:29).
12. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor (Rom. 12:10).
Just a few of those should improve the quality of our online involvement.
And, finally, a bonus one:
“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony” (Col. 3:12-14, ESV).
Those are some of my suggestions.
Got any others?
Ron Edmondson is a church planter and pastor with a heart for strategy, leadership and marketing, especially geared toward developing churches and growing and improving the kingdom of God.
For the original article, visit ronedmondson.com.
For the month of August we are celebrating the 40th anniversary of Charisma. Join us for giveaways each weekday, pages from our past, and more. We're including an anniversary special where you can get 40 issues of Charisma for only $40!