It never ceases to amaze me how some people will negatively interpret what we write or speak. Some personal filters are so biased it does not matter how clear something is written or spoken, their personal bias hijacks their reasoning and interpretation. At that point, what they share comes forth as an undisciplined knee-jerk reaction void of wisdom and mercy. I know this because I have been guilty of the same thing. So have you.
I've had people challenge me on something I wrote, causing me to ask myself, “Did they actually take the time to read what I wrote?” If you thought our culture was uptight before the pandemic, as they say, “You ain’t seen nothing yet!” Our culture is beginning to feel like caged animals in a zoo. If what you share reaches through the bars of a person's bias, you might get bitten. Hungry people can become desperate when they feel caged. It doesn't matter who or what reaches through the bars of their intellectual cage, they will bite.
Instead of being the perpetrator of a knee-jerk response and taking a bite out of someone, what can we do when our passion rises to the surface? First of all, it is OK to be passionate about something. Passion is not a problem. The problem is what we do with our passion. I have passion for Jan, not for other women. We must disciple and direct our passion or it will become our slavemaster. Just to say, we are passionate about something without integrity in our response is irresponsible.
When passion rises, pause, and inquire of the Lord. Read or listen again to what offended you and try to capture the presenters intent. Then ask yourself two questions. Is my response in line with the heart of God? Would this be better challenged in a personal note instead of splashing my knee-jerking ignorance all over social media and beyond?
Not all the time, but in a few instances, I have actually gained a friend after a personal inquiry was made, and clarity on an issue was received. I’ve never experienced this when a comment bomb was dropped and the person continued on their merry way. As the culture heats up, we need to cool down. Only cool heads are free from a knee-jerk way of living and responding to others.