Trial By Social Media

by Apr 1, 2016Devotional1 comment

Proverbs 12:20 Deceit is in the hearts of those who plot evil, but those who promote peace have joy.

      Sam McGee’s view on the negative side of social media might be said this way: “There are cruel things said on the world wide web, by the trolls who spew their souls. Tried and judged with hurtful words, that will make your heart grow old.”
      How has the mob mentality who post their cruel and hateful thoughts become such a source of read information? Why do people even believe or try to reason with these trolls who post their slanderous and venomous words designed to hurt the wounded, innocent and maybe the guilty? 

      The web has attracted a tabloid type of reporting or as my friend Scott calls it, “lazy journalism.” Whatever it is, it has captured the minds of people who cast judgment without knowledge, factual information, or understanding of events in people’s lives. 
      Things that some people say liberally on social media sites, these same people would never have the courage to say to any one’s face. So much of the things said sounds like the venting of an adolescent and yet they claim to be of mature age and understanding. 
      Rumors and misquotes are reported as truth and the consequences of this type of free-for-all activity is ignored regardless of the casualties caused. 2 Tim. 4:3 A time will come when people will not listen to accurate teachings. Instead, they will follow their own desires and surround themselves with teachers who tell them what they want to hear.
      It seems the more technologically advanced we get, the fewer abilities we have to extend compassion or reason. We seem to use the technology to be faster at pronouncing what is in our minds at the split second of hearing a version of an event regardless of the event being true or false. A person’s life can be changed in a day because of what is said about them online. 
      The victim of the millions of digital bytes that are focused on them can be devastating, especially if what is being said is not true. How do you repent or apologize to someone you destroyed online with rumor? Prov. 6:2 If you have been snared with the words of your mouth, Have been caught with the words of your mouth. 3 Do this now, my son, and deliver yourself, when you have come into the hand of your friend; go, humble yourself, and plead with your friend. How do you plead for mercy when you have destroyed your fellow man’s life and reputation? It would take some real courage to fess up and become a healer of what damage you caused.
      The only true and honest man who ever walked the earth got crucified by the self-proclaimed good folk of the same earth. It is interesting that the mob who cried for Jesus to be crucified was provoked by a few envious and political savvy instigators. These rumor-mongers got the crowd riled up with rumor and lies to the point that the everyday person in the crowd was frantically screaming to kill Jesus and releasing Barabbas. John 18:40 They shouted back, “No, not him! Give us Barabbas!” Now Barabbas had taken part in an uprising. 
      Since the mob mentality had no problem killing the only innocent man ever in the history of the world, I reckon the same mob will have no mercy online where casting judgment can be done with anonymity. 
      We live in a time when mercy and compassion is needed more than ever. Surely we can abstain from spewing our mental pus on everyday people who messed up or had a tragic event happen to them that was beyond their control. Let us not be so eager to point an accusatory finger of blame because the web makes it so easy to do so. Because of that fact and ease, we should take a moment and think hard about our words we are about to express in judgment. 
      Remember the same standard of judgment will be used on each one of us who judges unrighteously. Matt. 7:1 Judge not, that ye be not judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. If I was unfortunate to have an unforeseen event happen to me or my family that was beyond my control and then I was publicly blamed for it, I know that I would desire mercy and understanding just like every one of you. 
      When it comes to social media, I will remember the Lord’s words as to what is expected of me in life. I hope you take them to heart as well. Micah 6:8 He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

1 Comment

  1. Anonymous

    Thank you Norm for your wise insight on the condition of this world and how to cope with everything that is happening.


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