Read, Pray, Listen
- Read, ponder, tell me about YOUR day. I welcome your comments and read them all. I only re-post positive, helpful comments.
She thought she was sending her son off to college. She kissed him and said good-bye, and that was the last time she saw him. That night her sone was kidnapped and taken away.
Listen to this story of loss and hope, pain and forgiveness - and the triumph of the Mercy of God.
They didn't want another baby. They were done with kids. Their finances were a disaster. Abortion was not an option, but they did discuss placing the baby for adoption. They were feeling desperate. And then they began to fall in love.
Listen to this heart-warming story of how one man's unborn baby changed his heart and his family forever.
There is a lot of hot political debate going on. No problem. That's what happens in a free society during election years, and this election year is a DOOZY.
But yesterday something really alarming happened to me. I am still shaken by it. I made a comment in a non-political discussion about child-rearing. I was not judgmental. I didn't tell anyone how to raise their kids. I just said how we chose to do it and that our kids and turned out just great - my idea being that there are a LOT of options to child-raising and as adults, we get to choose. Seems straightforward enough. I didn't tell anyone else how to raise their kids, didn't even hint. Not my business. I was giving a perspective
from the standpoint of someone who has been there, done that, and everyone survived. First the poster of the article took a big sarcastic bite out of me. Then five friends piped in, equally sarcastic and condemning. I tried to defend and defuse by replying - that I mean no judgment, no criticism, and that nothing I said implied either. Then the feeding frenzy began. It was still going this morning. If I were a swimmer in the Amazon, I'd be nothing but a skeleton by now. I went in and deleted my original post which took all the mean stuff with it.
What is alarming to me is that these are all supposedly Christian women. I believe most of them are a lot younger than I, perhaps young enough to be my daughters. They felt free to rip me to shreds with their words. The meaner the comment, the more "likes" it got. They don't know me. And I am CERTAIN that had we been together in a room, no one would have spoken that way to my face. What happened?
Somehow I offended. And was punished, severely. I hate to say it, but this is the way women behave at their worst. We all experienced it in junior high school, right? Either we were the Queen Bee (or one of her honey bees) or we were on the receiving end. It is a huge temptation for us women - pile on, take bites, (with a smile) without any regard for the personhood of the one being bitten. It is one of the great vices of women that we can get a thrill out of making other women feel bad. And the really weird thing is that it is a tendency in total opposition to WHO WE ARE as women - we are made for relationship-building, for intimacy, for bringing others close. At our worst, we do just the opposite. I am very sad about it.
So, here are some guidelines I suggest, and want to follow myself, for civil, kind discussions online. What do you think?
1. Be kind. If you don't like something someone says, but it really doesn't touch on your life, let it pass. Scroll.
2. If you want to disagree, do so with your BEST tools - kindness, goodness, intelligence, carefully chosen words, giving the other person the benefit of the doubt, and be polite. And remember, not every comment is an agree/disagree moment. Sometimes people are just sharing, especially women. It's what we do. It's how we connect. If we do it badly here and there, so what? Benefit of the doubt.
3. Never be sarcastic. Ever. Sarcasm is the sulphuric acid of words. Just don't.
4. What would Jesus write? Seriously. If we call ourselves Christians we carry His name. I am pretty sure Jesus never took a bite out of anyone except the Pharisees - religious hypocrites.
5. If you are consistently bugged by someone's posts, unfriend them or select "do not follow but stay friends" or just scroll and get over it. Be glad the world isn't full of clones of yourself.
I am very impressed by and grateful for my friends who strongly disagree with me politically and do so with dignity and civility. They are real friends. They say what they want to say (and it IS a discussion in this case) without rancor, condemnation, ill-will, and they give me the benefit of the doubt. They are an example to me and to anyone who reads our discussions.Way to go!
Social media has it's good points. But it can be a tool for bringing out the worst in us humans whether that is easy access to porn or easy access to mean girl opportunities. Let's watch it, all of us.
Be kind and do good. Please add your suggestions!
She grew up in an atheist home. Atheism seemed like the only possible belief system for intelligent, educated people and she loved to argue about it, especially with the "most interesting wrong people" she could find. Her blog was dedicated to proving that belief in God was irrational.
God is at work, even in the hearts of those who deny His existence. The more she argued the more questions she had. And soon she realized she was on her way to becoming a Christian. Listen to how writer and blogger Leah Libresco discovered the truth about life, love, and ultimately God in this episode of Mercy Unwrapped..
He didn't want out of the marriage. He didn't want to divorce. But she left him anyway. Listen to this story of how one man found strength and courage after divorce and has made it his mission to reach out to other divorced men.
Author Chris Easterly shares his poignant story of God's mercy and provision in tough times and teaches us how to help others. Listen HERE.