WHAT IF SOCIAL MEDIA…WAS LIKE WALMART? How many would still use it? What would the Lord have us do? What needs to change
Have you ever wondered who it was you were talking to on any social media post when it gets heated up? Now, I’m not talking about the happy thoughts exchanged back and forth among people who are looking at food recipes and cute pics of cats.
I’m talking about difference of opinions that get heated. The kind that get people to screen shot and push the block button. Did you ever wonder who these were?
We have learned that some of these are nothing more than attack bots designed to troll sites and distract from the real issues being discussed. And some of these are just real people doing their real life thing…sharing their real thoughts and giving a few opinions with uncontrolled force. Some may be having a bad day, a fearful or unpleasant memory was triggered, or simply just are grumpy.
What if one day you could look at all the trolls and fact checkers behind the scenes. What would that look like? Have you ever thought of that?
My imagination ran away with me the other day as I was going through Walmart getting a few items. I was thinking of Karen Wheaton and her story on always making each thing you do a mission for God. Every where you go look who you can help today. Look for who you can bring a smile to or help in some way the Lord leads you to help. She said, even when you go to Walmart, make it a mission for the Lord.
So as I pushed my cart up the isle my mind wandered off as I looked around Walmart and took a look at the world within my world. It suddenly dawned on me – What if the times on social media when I’ve been defending myself after being verbally attacked – what if I’ve been arguing with Walmart people?” What if we all have been…would that make any difference how we communicate? As I continued through the store I remembered the times I felt compassion for someone I saw, or a joy, or offered to reach up and get an item for them. Then I thought of the stigma of being a Walmart person, and how this must also be another propaganda tool used to create a class of people to divide, point to and laugh at. For in all my years and visits to Walmart in many parts of the nation, I have never seen the people that appear in photos on social media. Not in person. I have experienced rudeness, but not the likes in the following photos.
I mean seriously, think about it. What if Susie was just told by this guy that she’s stupid for voting for Trump and she’s just a religious fanatic like the other Trumpers. Would she even waste the time to answer him?
There is a reason I am walking you through Walmart…be patient it is coming. Wait for it.
Could he even come close to having the power to ruin Susie’s day?
Or what if this guy picturerd below hollered at Susie, “You’re an idi__t, Trump lost, Biden won fair and square?” Would Susie even try to reason with him or give a testimony of why she believes the way she does? What would the Lord have us do?
Or what if this guy told Jack that he didn’t know crap about what was going on. Would Jack even bother to respond? Or would Jack take a cheap shot at his image and not stick with the topic? What would the Lord have us do?
What if you knew that the person telling you how dumb you were for believing the election was stolen was this woman? What would the Lord have us do?
And what about the know it all types? The ones that always want you to site your sources and call you a liar because Snopes said it was false. What do they look like? You know the type that tell you just how smart they are because they work at XYZ in a very important position and they know everything.
What if you caught them off guard at work? What would that look like? Would you even try to say anything to these lost, confused people to have them hear you? Maybe social media isn’t as bad a vehicle to communicate with as we thought? At least not in midst of these strange days. What would the Lord have us do?
NOW FOR THE REAL TEST….
Jesus said unto him,Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
So, what would the Lord have us do when we hear crude negative remarks from others? On social media we can’t see them so we can only imagine who is talking. In real life we can both hear their remark and see their body language and total image. Sometimes it is hard to hear what someone is saying without judging the outside. Let’s be honest, it just is. Sometimes the person’s image speaks louder than their words. Are we doing this when we look at the outside of others without trying to see what is going on inside to create what we are seeing? Or not seeing? Do you think God looks at people in Walmart and takes selfies and laughs at what a mess these people are? Sometimes the person’s image speaks louder than their words. We have to look beyond the outside in order to truly see the person as the Lord sees them.
So how are we to do and be?
What do you think the Lord would have us doing? Your voice on social media has a greater impact in someones life than you could ever imagine. Not everyone who has a different opinion is actually an enemy or foe.
Many are looking for answers because they are now hearing, and perhaps for the first time, a different side of the propaganda story…and it is confusing to them. Many are hearing a different view and are truly believing the propaganda and really believe any other view is a lie.
Until we can truly look at others and see past the outside and into the thinking, feeling and decisions they are making and have true compassion on that obvious struggle, we cannot truly do God’s second greatest commandment to love thy neighbour as thyself.
First responders see everything in the line of duty answering 911 emergency calls. They don’t stop to check what the person looks like, or what they believe politically or in the news, they focus on their condition, are they breathing? Bleeding? Wounded? They work to get the person stablized and then assess the rest of the damage. If we took a 911 first responder approach to our neighbors who are showing signs of hurting, down and out, or misguided, that would make a big difference in many peoples lives. It is a blessing to both the giver and the receiver when we care and help one another the way we want to be treated. It is Biblical and it is what we are to seek to do.
We are not to be door matts for others to walk on, and we also are not to walk on others either. It is for us to look at the heart, the soul and the mind and not the outer image. The real person inside is what cannot be seen with the eyes. It is the eternal soul, the heart and the thoughts of their mind. Not a tatoo, or piercing, nor the clothes they are wearing or the shape their bodies are in. It is who they are inside. Not everyone started out like you are seeing them now. They got to that point by a series of reasons. The commandment is to love your neighbor as yourself….not to hang with them and do as they do…if it is not of good for you. Love is showing others the way to be by being it. It is being the example to follow. Not talking, but doing. Love is doing good for others without expecting anything in return.
Many people need help and sometimes all you have to do is smile and tell someone to have a nice day. Or help get something they are struggling to reach for. The commandment isn’t asking you to be a super councelor or fix all of their problems. It is telling you to love them and love does not judge. Love forgives and love is concerned for anothers welfare. Love has compassion and is trusting. It spreads comfort and joy. Love lifts the spirit and offers care and protects, it nurtures and inspires. It offers security and hope. It transfers energy into what is withering away. It helps build up ones confidence and brings out the best in others. But most of all, love comes freely from the heart. Not out of duty or obligation, true love is given freely and the reward is felt in the heart.
So today and any time you are among others, look for opportunities to treat others in the way you want to be treated. Do it until it becomes as natural to you as breathing. And get used to this for this is the commandment and the way of the Lord’s Kingdom that we are pressing into!
God bless each one and keep on pressing!