I wish I could say this is a rare thing in our world but sadly, it is not. I have personally experienced it multiple times over my life and career and as I put myself out there more and more via online posts, etc., I receive more and more personal attacks because there are always those who disagree with me. Truthfully, I really don’t have a problem with people disagreeing with me. In fact, I expect that and think it is actually a good thing. It keeps our faith sword sharpened. The problem I have; however, is the tone, method, and motivation behind those “disagreements.”
For instance, I have been on the receiving end of face-to-face personal attacks while performing my previous work as a pastor in multiple churches. Again, this is to be expected at some level but not at the level it is often displayed. For what I experienced was not a civil dialogue about opinion or belief, but rather the purposeful direct attack to me as a person or as a Christian. This, I think, is not acceptable nor do I think it is Biblical.
So why do I think there is more and more of this being done?
Well, let me suggest these possible reasons:
- There is more anonymity in the online world. This makes people FEEL more free to express themselves without fear of retaliation.
- There is a lack of care president that is being demonstrated. People do what they see. Just look at post comments and you will see what I mean.
- There is an increased necessity for people to be right rather than cooperative. I think this may be driven a great deal by the perception that some have in regards to the fear of losing personal freedoms. I also think this is magnified even more during our continued pandemic.
I am sure there are more reasons but these three at least give us something to think about as we work to live our lives in Christian fellowship, love, and well-being.
The reason I feel so strongly about this is to be honest, the real pain I have felt as the recipient of these personal attacks. What’s more, I think attacks from family always hit the hardest; and after all, isn’t the church suppose to be family?
So, I just encourage you to think before you act. Think before you speak. And love before you attack. I feel that we can accomplish more for the cause of Christ when done in love than with weapons of hate.
Speaking of love: I send mine to you all.