My dad was a great man…a loving husband, a good father, a faithful follower of Jesus Christ. He left this world long before people began suffering the negative effects of social media hate. He would have done his best to cushion the impact that hate can have on the people living today. He would have contributed to love over hate.
Today we will be discussing:
- The negative effects of social media hate
- The impact of hate comments can cause permanent harm
- Hate speech on social media
- What causes hate?
- Love over hate
- Words can hurt
- How to overcome and forgive hateful social media comments
- We all need forgiveness
Having served in Korea during the war there, he also had an interest in guns and shooting. He was not really a hunter or an outdoorsman, though. He loved to walk through my grandparents’ mesquite tree-laden property in west Texas and shoot at trees, or frogs, or snakes, or an occasional bird. I loved when we would go do this…time with Dad and all. His favorite gun was an old .22 pistol that I thought looked like a Ruger, but was made by Colt.
Impact of Hate Comments Can Cause Permanent Harm
One day while working our way up the dam at one of the tanks, as we cleared the top of the dam, two mallard ducks took off and startled us. My dad, who probably had some PTSD from his time in Korea, reacted and fired his Colt and one of the ducks fell from the sky back into the water. It was an amazing shot from 30 yards away with a pistol to hit a flying duck! It was a quick, unthinking action in response to a startling but completely non-threatening situation. Plus…it wasn’t duck season.
The poor duck apparently had been hit in such a way that it could no longer fly. We spent the next few hours trying to lure it out of the water so that we could help it. But no matter what we did, the result of that careless shot could not be rectified. Much like the negative effects of social media hate. Words can hurt.
Hate Speech on Social Media
Everywhere you go on your favorite social media platform seems to be full of people who are angry and hating one point of view or another. One friend seems to espouse one side of an argument, while another does the same from the other side. They both show documentation from the news or from a popular writer, theologian, doctor or celebrity. They take their shots and their careless words often cause damage that is difficult, if not impossible to rectify. Who is right and why do they all seem to hate those who disagree with them?
What Causes Hate?
That is a question that largely depends on two things; your understanding of American History and your belief in the truth of the Bible. There are a lot of differing opinions on the goodness or rightness of the USA over her brief history. I won’t attempt to get into most of those things, but I think it is very important that we understand what the Bible has to say about the actual hate language that is very noticeable online.
Love Over Hate
The Bible teaches much about the way to live our lives, from Faith in God to loving our neighbor. And loving our neighbor takes many forms. We are called to let love win over hate. When asked what the greatest commandment was in the Scripture, Jesus answered by saying:
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important commandment. The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commandments”
Words Can Hurt
In James 3 we learn that the Tongue is a fire. It seems reasonable to extend the idea of the words we say to include the words we write or share on social media. James says “the tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity!” It is such a small thing, but like the rudder of a ship, it steers our way.
The ugliness of our politics today often flows from the inability or the lack of willingness to bridle our words. I have decided to snooze several of my Facebook friends, on both sides of the political aisle, because their political rants bring me down. Instead of sticking with the facts, they stoop to personal attacks, not only on the politicians, but on those who support them. Do we really think it is necessary to take personal pot shots at those who feel differently than we do? Like the bullet that hit the duck, they do careless damage and make the divisions among us even deeper.
How to Overcome and Forgive Hateful Social Media Comments
If you have been injured by words, don’t respond in the same way. Take a moment to think and to not act. Jesus said, “do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.” Matthew 5:39
- If you have been insulted, pray for the strength to forgive the offender. Actually show love to that person.
- Now, what if you are the person who has used words to injure others? What if you are the guilty one? There are two steps:
- If you have offended someone, seek forgiveness from them. It’s backwards to the way we think, but the Bible teaches that we should seek to be reconciled, by confessing our sins to those we have injured. We have no way to force them to forgive us, but we are told to ask forgiveness as well as be ready to offer it.
- Confess your wrong action to God. God wants a personal relationship with you. He made you and knows every little thing about you. He knows the thoughts in your head! In spite of this, He loves you and wants you to succeed. Start by confessing your sins to Him. He will forgive you, according to 1 John 1:9.
9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.1 John. 1:9
We All Need Forgiveness
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him, will not perish, but will have eternal life!”John 3:16
The beauty of faith in the God of the Bible is that He loves us and wants a relationship with us. He knows we all have sinned and are in need of forgiveness. There is nothing you have done that can’t be forgiven. John 3:16 sums, it up:
No matter your past, no matter your belief, you can have eternal life through Jesus Christ by simply confessing your sins, believing that Jesus died on the Cross for those sins, and inviting Him to be the Lord of your life. What a relief!
Please watch the BEST NEWS FOR YOU video on this page to find out how you can experience eternal life through Jesus Christ. You can know Him today. Now is the time!