On How Christians Engage Each Other Online

If you have spent any amount of time engaging Christians on any type of social media it is not hard to conclude that some Christians have the gift of the cyber-hammer. Feeling the smashing blows of the cyber-hammer are unmistakable no matter how many internet connections away you may be.

My fellow Christians, this ought not be since we are to live at peace with all while praying for our enemies (Rom. 12:14-21) and do good to all, especially, our fellow Christians (Gal. 6:10).

I admit, I am guilty!

I am also repentant. I am hoping the way I respond online will move more in-line with how I respond in person; and then some. The desire is to be more like Christ in all areas of life. Some might argue that I am taking up a position with the ‘tone police’. I am not.

I am challenging you to challenge yourself before God. I cannot ultimately answer, dear reader, whether or not you have a problem with ungodly tone in your online voice. Maybe you do, maybe you don’t. So I don’t know what that change looks like for you, but I know that my online tone, etc. comes from my attitude. (And sometimes from bad jokes and dry humor.)

While thinking about this topic I was reminded of Hebrews 13:3, “Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body” (ESV).

Matthew Henry wrote about this verse, in part, that:

Those that are themselves at liberty must sympathize with those that are in bonds and adversity, as if they were bound with them in the same chain: they must fell the sufferings of their brethren.

2. The reason of the duty: As being yourselves in the body; not only in the body natural, and so liable to the like sufferings, and you should sympathize with them now that others may sympathize with you when your time of trial comes; but in the same mystical body, under the same head, and if one member suffer all the rest suffer with it, 1 Corinthians 12:26. It would be unnatural in Christians not to bear each other’s burdens.

When I put on someone else’s shoes and walk before I talk I have a better chance of having my response seasoned with salt (Col. 4:6). Keep in mind that we cannot do this for someone else. We can only control our own attitude and response in which every thought should be taken captive to the obedience  of Jesus (2 Cor. 10:5).

The next time you have trouble sympathizing with someone, my fellow Christians, think about how Jesus Christ has sympathized with you.

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:15-16 ESV)

King Jesus humbled himself to life with us taking on all of our temptations and the punishment for our sin. In the same way Jesus sympathized with each of us can we not even attempt to sympathize with our fellow Christians? Jesus did not die so we can argue online; anyone can argue online. However, he did die to redeem our online arguments; new life brings new speech (Col. 3:8-10; Eph. 4:30-32).

So how is your online attitude?

For what it’s worth…

Mark

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Steve Martin November 15, 2012 at 2:16 pm

Mark,

A very good reminder that we believers are on the same team. We may have different ideas on what plays to call and who should carry the ball, but we have the same goal in mind. That others may come to believe and experience new life and freedom in Christ Jesus.

Thanks, very much.

2 Mark November 15, 2012 at 2:17 pm

Steve, thank you very much for the encouragement, brother.

3 Dave Miller November 15, 2012 at 2:31 pm

Any thoughtful, self-inspecting Christian who blogs will regret his (or her) tone and words at times. And we have to be careful, as this article does, to constantly call ourselves to higher and more godly standards and keep one another accountable.

4 Dave Miller November 15, 2012 at 2:32 pm

And a little public repentance never hurts.

5 Jenny Elaine November 15, 2012 at 5:23 pm

I appreciate your post Mark. I know I am guilty of it. I have seen , as I am sure you have, many Christians these days spending their time fighting against certain peoples to the point of hurting them, which in turn is putting an obstacle in their way of coming to Christ…and this has broken my heart, which I know has gotten me fired up at times. I won’t get away from being fired up, but your post helps my growth in this area, so as I continue to grow in communicating. Thank you!

*Side note – I have been part of a pretty good size Christian forum for a few years now, and each time lately when I have went in to the political area of the forum and see post after post of Christians slandering and screaming about their rights, and then when I barely open my mouth about being more like Christ, and treating people as we would want to be treated…I would be pounced on…to the point where they have made posts directed at me. Being pounced on is not my biggest heartache…so what really….it is that Christians, time after time, would argue against obeying the New Command, and being more like Jesus…and being careful how Christians treat certain groups in our country (not publically pointing out their sins, as it was only the religious that Jesus would point at and do this) as these people already think God hates them because of our ‘witness’.

Thanks Mark for this topic!!! Blessings…..

6 Steve Martin November 15, 2012 at 8:28 pm

When I first glanced at the title of this post I thought it read ‘enrage’… .

I know that happens, too…sadly.

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