Text: James 1.19-27
Comment sections following news articles on the Internet are today’s “Wild, Wild, West.” They’re “no holds barred” areas of vitriol and name-calling where the intent is to not only win the argument, but humiliate someone else in the process. They’re areas desperately in need of gentleness.
As the events of our nation and the world inundate our news feeds, our first response can be visceral, particularly involving our “hot button topics.” As we scroll through the comments, it’s not long before we see our position denounced, faith ridiculed, or belief defamed.
It’s at this point we’re ready to hit “reply” and let “them” have it with both barrels. After all, “They started it; I’m going to finish it.” It’s also at this point James, the half-brother of Jesus, tells us to wait a minute, that’s not how a follower of Jesus is to respond.
James says we “should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry” (James 1.19). We’re to “get rid of…the evil that is so prevalent and humbly (or, gently) accept the word planted in you, which can save you” (James 1.21). Rather than an angry reply, we’re to demonstrate gentleness to those with whom we strongly disagree.
Today, make the commitment to gentleness on the Internet by refusing to post or comment on anything this weekend. Instead, pray specifically for those who hold opinions vastly different from yours.