I have very strong opinions about a number of socially-relevant topics. I am on Facebook to interact with others...which includes sharing said opinions because I am all about being real. I'm not interested in being a doormat (spent too much time earlier in life doing that!), plastic, or PC.
As a Christ-follower, I do take very seriously His admonitions to be kind and loving, and I - believe it or not - do usually think carefully about items I share and how I word things I post. I want to declare truth (which Jesus called each of His followers to do!) in as sensitive a way as possible. But I ask you to keep a few things in mind about that:
- I am not perfect.
My highest wish is to be like Christ in all things, but I am in the process of being sanctified, and I won't "arrive" at that goal until I get to Heaven. Thus, I mess up (in many ways, every day!)...and one of my issues is a tendency to be harsh when I have a strong opinion. I'm fully aware of that and it's something on which I work continually, so don't read this as an excuse - I do not use my propensity toward any sin as an excuse to sin more - but the fact is that we aren't perfect and can't ever be. Thus, I can't/won't wait until I can always express things "perfectly" before I speak up; that would be foolish and impossible. Instead, I police myself ahead of time to the best of my ability and then also do my best to respond correctly (i.e., with apology and repentance) when I cross the line. That's the best you can expect from me...or anyone.
- You don't have to like or agree with all of my opinions...but that doesn't necessarily make me wrong.
Yes, I might be because...well, apply #1 to the idea of correctly discerning truth, and it's clear that no one can ever "get it right" all the time. Nine times out of ten, though, I have observed that, when people have a problem with my views, it's because they don't like conservative political ideas and/or don't take the Bible as the final authority in life. In a (still, for the time being!) free country, each one is entitled to his/her opinion about politics, and God gives us each the free will to accept or reject Him (yes, He loves enough to give us the freedom to reject Him!) so you're entitled to your opinions, too. However, my ideal is to base all of my life - thoughts, feelings, motives, actions - on what the Bible says...not post-modern, politically-correct interpretations of Scripture but what it really says (which I determine using knowledge that comes from textual study from teachers who look to the original languages in which the Bible was written in order to know God's actual intent). The Bible clearly says, among other things, that there are not many ways to Heaven...that particular behaviors are sin...and that parents are called to take primary, direct responsibility for training up their own children. And our Constitution - written by men who (like it or not) held Scripture in very high regard - calls for limited government and personal responsibility. Agree with me or not, I won't apologize for those foundations of truth upon which I base my opinions.
- My Facebook wall is mine.
Yes, it's the Lord's really - see #1 again! - but this is my space for expressing what I want to say. Knowing I'll fall short and being totally willing to acknowledge it when I do, I'll endeavor to be as sensitive as possible while expressing my fact- and truth-grounded opinions. But I'm not going to censor myself just because my views aren't PC or because someone doesn't like the truth. Jesus is kind but never wishy-washy about truth, so I won't be wishy-washy either.
- I really do value peace.
I hope a person who disagrees with me will be willing to maintain the friendship despite differences of opinion. I'm not going to compromise truth for the sake of a relationship - that's a PC twisting of the concept of "tolerance" and is unbiblical - and I am willing to engage in discussion/debate for as long as it's respectful and productive. But there comes a point when continued discussion becomes pointless...and - in the name of peace - I will not keep going when a debate has clearly reached that place (a side note: I pray earnestly for discernment about when to end discussions, and I feel confident my decisions about that are Spirit-led, not based on my fickle feelings). If you continually get riled up by what I say and can't handle agreeing to disagree, please - for the sake of peace - just do us both a favor and "unfriend" me. That's not my preference - I'll be sad about the broken relationship and I'll miss you - but I'm going to keep saying what I say whether you like it or not, so keep that in mind and choose what's best for yourself.
Photo Credit: west.m (http://www.flickr.com/photos/westm/4690323994/)