Recently, I read a response to something I had written on one of my social media accounts. The response was a bit edgy and confronting. When I read the persons comment (I don’t know them), I realized their response revealed a lack of understanding of the subject I had addressed. We all miss it from time to time. I know I have.
The person’s response was crafted as a question. I really wanted to throw in my two cents and simply answer with a loud and visible, “Yes!!!” But I didn’t. I did not respond for a few reasons. One of the reasons why I didn’t respond is that many times people will write or say something in the heat of the moment. By the time they hit the “post” button it is too late because their response is out there for the whole world to see. Later, when they revisit their remark they realize they might have missed it. At that point, if they have to wade through my public correction, I might lose a chance to be part of their life in a future discussion. We all need mercy – even our critics.
In some ways we have become an overly corrective social media culture. We pull the trigger quickly in our disagreements and blow away some relationships before they have a chance to begin. We forget that a small measure of patience and a prayerful pause can provide an open a door between two people for a private discussion that could lead to a future relationship. Some of the friends I have today were once my most vocal critics. I loved and honored them in their criticism and eventually they discovered my heart and I discovered theirs.
Today, when you read something that strikes a nerve take a moment and ask yourself why your nerve is exposed in the first place. The discovery of the answer to that question will reap a greater harvest than trying to manage the life of another person.