Recently I’ve posted on Facebook about issues of concern, which also happen to be controversial, like gun control. The responses are varied from agreement to silent disagreement. But there is a category of responses catching my attention to which I need to respond. My responding is not for debating them, but because I hope to be more like them when I grow up.
Several people are disagreeing with my point of view, but in such a way that the light of Christ shines through. Clearly they are shaped by their discipleship, given the way they disagree, even in impersonal social media. The content of their argument tends to be similar to others, so that’s not the difference. What’s striking is the spirit of their engagement. It’s more the music below their words.
With reflection, the essence of the difference in them is their care of the relationship. They avoid drive-by shootings in their comments. Clearly their intent is not to hit (make their point) and run (put you in your place, then move on). They assume their relationship with you will continue as it has, so they make their point with consideration for the other. After their engagement with you in social media, even when there is disagreement, you could still sit across the table from them over a cup of coffee. Their goal is not to destroy their opponent, but to collectively pursue insight.
So, I find myself learning much from Facebook and other social media these days. Often I learn how I don’t want to engage others. But from these particular Christ-follower people who are expressing disagreement on my page…I find I want to be more like them. Thank you for ambassador-ing well. Your example is calling out the best in the rest of us.