Growing up we lived near enough to my dad’s parents to regularly have Sunday dinner with them until we moved away after my 9th grade year. When I was in 6th grade my mom (I’m being totally transparent here) started dressing me a little more stylishly. To my grandpa’s eye, those styles looked like what the Hippies wore, but he skipped right over the Hippies and called me a Communist. I had no idea what he was talking about, but I knew what a Communist was; so my response was, “Grandpa, I have two paper routes!” – which, of course, didn’t change his opinion about my plaid pants.
The moral of the story is that he never did change my opinion about the clothing (I still wore plaid for a couple more years); he changed my opinion about his opinion – about him.* I knew for a fact that plaid pants did not make me a Communist.
Sniping causes the one attacked to protect himself. Some protect themselves by hiding, some by running away, some by creating a shell. And some snipe back. In my case I tend to disregard the opinion of those who snipe. I don’t think many are changed or persuaded by sniping.
On social media the urge to snipe (argue with someone’s post)** is likely to assure that others aren’t persuaded by something we see as untrue or misleading. And I get that!! BUT when I comment under someone’s post, I am commenting to them. It’s both unkind and ineffective. If my concern is for them, I should handle the concern privately. If my concern is getting the truth out “big picture,” then I should write about the truth on my own page. I need to be as, if not MORE, polite on social media than I am in person, because on social media my audience is bigger and the record is permanent.
Walking worthy (Ephesians 4:1ff) isn’t just about what happens in church. We are the church!
Because of Grace,
*Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t hate my grandpa. I just shut him out when he opined about my hair and clothing in the early 70’s!
**While I think this has always been an issue, it seems as the political/social/covid19/racial/grief rhetoric in our country has increased so has the arguing/sniping. And it’s not how Christ would have us behave – “This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.” James 1:19-20