While I have never watched more than 5 minutes of the Oscars in my lifetime, the news cycle has been all over the Will Smith vs. Chris Rock debacle. While many opinions abound over who was right, who was wrong, and was it staged, the incident is a learning opportunity. We have the privilege and responsibility of choosing our response!
For the most part I have stayed away from some of the social media platforms because of the often toxic nature of the posts. It seems that everyone not only has an opinion, but we also feel the need to argue with one another. Sometimes, when there is not any grounds for an argument, then the conversation simply ends with an “I’m done talking about this” statement.
Keyboard warriors abound and whether they know something to be factually true or not, it seems that the temptation to share on social media is strong. Yet, this also brings up the point, do we need to respond to everything?
I have had my share of people who would take to social media to tear down family, neighbors, coworkers, and church people. Who would use social media to manipulate others with guilt or shame and feel it would have a positive result? Yet, I often wonder how those areas of their lives would change if they chose to respond in a way that would honor God’s Word?
For the believer, there is no doubt what our response is suppose to be. But before anyone says that they can’t help it or someone else is responsible, ultimately the buck stops with us! We choose how we respond to any situation and cannot blame our actions on someone else. We make the decision, we act on the decision, we take responsibility for the decision.
A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouths of fools pour out folly. The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good. A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit. Proverbs 15:1–4 (ESV)
Wisdom dictates that we begin with a soft answer.
When faced with a situation that could be confrontational or contentious, start with a soft voice. In other words, don’t add fuel to the fire that someone else is stoking by adding your own fuel. It may be better to speak very little or not at all in order to keep from escalating the situation.
When faced with online social media assassins, you don’t always need to answer back or respond. Most of the time, these individuals are simply showing their heart for contention and you don’t have to swim in their pool! Let them do what they will. If you have lived a life of integrity, even if they accuse you of something, others will not believe it!
Wisdom prioritizes knowledge and truth.
If we do respond, only respond with truth and not a momentary heated comeback. All to often, we find ourselves in a mess because we have responded emotionally and slapped someone….I digress. Responses, if they are necessary, should always be rooted in truth.
I believe that this is why we begin with a soft answer, because if we are able to control our tongue, our mind is likely more engaged. When this happens, we respond out of a clear mind rather than an enraged heart.
God rewards the wise and deals with the unwise.
Ultimately, our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, powers and rulers of this dark age. God is better equipped with dealing in the heart and mind of a person than we are. He sees the intention of the heart and will ultimately reward those who choose their responses wisely.
Those who choose to allow others to dictate their response and actions will be dealt with by God. We don’t have to do anything that God does not want for us to do. We can simply allow God to deal with the person and rest in His work.
What we say in our response should bring life!
As a believer, we are considered a branch that is connected to the vine of Jesus Christ. Our life, joy and peace comes from that relationship and should be a visible reality to those around us. In doing so, we become the witness of His transformative power over us to make us new. The former way we would have reacted has now become the godly response He has created.
We are ambassadors of a God who poured His love into us. The world around us is going to be in constant turmoil and strife. However, for those who put their faith in Him, we don’t have to live that way in our relationships with one another. Sometimes, the world does not need our response because they stand in judgement of themselves.
I have taught my children this lesson because it has been such an important part of my life. I have erred in having an emotional reaction to a situation and paid the price for it. On the other hand, I have found that a wise response is far better for me, regardless of how the other person acted.
Ultimately, we must understand that our response is up to us. We cannot place blame on anyone else, because our choice is ours. In the end, if we will live with integrity everyday, our own track record will speak for itself.
It begins with Christ!
If you don’t know Christ as your savior, it all begins with the first step. Committing your life to serve Him is the greatest decision you will make in your life! Finally, for more information on serving the Lord: CLICK HERE!
Thank you for reading, Choosing Our Response!
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