Pick a current hot-button issue.
How about the subject of getting the Covid-19 shot or not? Or perhaps something about politics.
Got your topic?
Okay, go ahead and post your opinion on social media or write a blog about your belief or outlook.
Now sit back, take a deep breath, and prepare yourself . . . because it’s about to get both glorious and ugly. You will get responses that support you and criticize you.
The people who agree with you will share your post and give you happy face emojis. They will shout from the rooftops how much they love you and think you’re brilliant.
However, the people who disagree with you might call you “Satan-incarnate!” (Yes, that happened to me.) At the very least, they will vehemently argue with you and send you a dozen or so links to educate and correct you because they think you’re an idiot. Then, depending on whether you repent or not, they may unfollow, block, or delete you from their world.
I can’t tell you how many times I wondered about why civility has disappeared from our culture. Too many too often get downright mean. I don’t hate social media, but I despair over the emotional and verbal abuse I see regularly.
So, that’s the problem. What’s the solution?
I suppose I could mention dozens of things, but one thing matters a lot: humility.
It is impossible to be humble and abusive at the same time.
To be humble doesn’t mean opinionless, unpassionate, or unfeeling. Practicing humility doesn’t mean you live without boundaries or truth. God never asks you to check your brain or your mouth at the door.
But Jesus does want you to be humble, and humility ought to be a mark of every Christ-follower.
So, here are seven qualities of the humble:
- Humble people are good listeners because they don’t listen with a chip on their shoulders.
- Humble people can passionately hold on to their beliefs, but they do so without crucifying those who disagree with them.
- Humble people are kind because they know God was kind to them when they were 100% wrong.
- Humble people are not harsh and insensitive because they know that poorly treating others results in resistance rather than relationship.
- Humble people understand the value of courtesy and civility. They treat others with honor even when—especially when—there is a disagreement.
- Humble people practice the golden rule that Jesus taught, and they remember that the power of life and death resides in their words.
- Humble people make it a priority to love others because they know that without love, they gain nothing eternal even if they win the argument.
I could go on. There are dozens of other qualities about humble, Christ-like people. However, for the sake of brevity, here’s something else I want you to mull over.
Never use the truth to crush another human being.
I understand, truth matters, and not for a moment am I encouraging you to compromise truth or your beliefs. But that pastor you called Satan-incarnate is trying to do his best to lead others in tough times. That guy you lit up on Facebook is precious to God. That gal you called a liberal-whore matters to Jesus. A lot.
Here’s how the Apostle Paul challenged us to live: “Do everything in love” 1 Corinthians 16:14.
And for the record, everything means everything. In fact, anything you do or say without love means nothing, even if you are entirely correct and someone else is totally wrong.
Like it or not, and sometimes I don’t like it, Jesus said to love and bless those who curse and mistreat us.
Love truly does win.
End of story.
“Love never fails.”
1 Corinthians 13:8