I admit that I churn quite a bit. I often have a hard time letting things go. That can be good, but it can be bad. I long to be more like my husband who knows when to stop and let things go.
Over the past number of weeks, I've had more than one occasion when I've thought to myself, "I'm done with social media." I've seen things (and probably said things) that remind me how easily it is to abuse a good thing. And yes, I do think social media can be a good thing. We're the problem when it gets abused. If human beings weren't misusing social media, they'd be misusing something else.
I've written about twenty posts which have made their way into the garbage, and they're in the trash because I felt like my honesty would just be a bad idea. So I wrote them, enjoyed the catharsis, and then dumped them. Note to self: I need to do that more.
My thoughts have been mostly on the way women pile on other women for the choices they make. My daughter has a name for a certain kind of friendship. She calls it the "I like you if you're like me" kind of friendship. Yes, we all tend to gather around common things, but sometimes, we can be so narrow. I knew a family once who wouldn't let their kids play with other kids who weren't "Growing Kids" children, i.e. their parents subscribed to Gary Ezzo's parenting methods. This is the kind of thing I'm talking about. I don't want to be like that.
I think we confuse being strident with being convicted. I've seen a lot of strident lately. I've seen a lot of folks who come at others with an attitude that says, "I cannot possibly be wrong." I don't begrudge anyone his certainty if he feels he's come to those conclusions with thought and consideration, but sometimes, being too unwilling to consider being wrong means we're simply not teachable.
Over the past few weeks, I've been reminded also that people flock to division and argument. People gravitate to those kind of articles. The articles that simply explain a theological truth often get read far less, and in reality, it's those kinds of articles we should be feasting more upon because understanding theology helps us understand other things.
I've seen people bully others. I've seen people cling tenaciously to having the last word. I've seen people defend their arrogance by saying they're just promoting truth. I like the word "winsome." I think truth is much better wrapped in winsome than arrogance. We all hear people get snitty if you mention "tone" of words, and comments like "tone police" come up. Yes, dialogue in the public square should be allowed, but there are some people out there who can't seem to come across as anything other than condescending and negatively sarcastic. And just for the record? "Well, duh!" is one of those phrases that really can't be spun in any other way than condescending.
Another reason I've been churning is because I know I've been arrogant, strident, and unteachable, and I'm cringing for every time that someone else thought that about me. I've been blogging since 2004; that's a lot of time to be arrogant online; never mind the times I've been arrogant face to face.
My husband is not an arrogant man. He's very cautious and careful. He doesn't get riled in an argument. He doesn't cling to the feeling of being right or vindicated. He's willing to let someone have the last word. He's willing to be wrong. He knows how to demonstrate if he's right and someone else may be mistaken; but he's decent about it.
He churns a lot less than I do. There has to be a connection.
Someone on my Twitter feed this past week re-tweeted this comment by Joe Thorn:
I am genuinely grieved over the arrogant, loveless, and needlessly divisive social media blasts from xians against xians.
I had to stop and ask myself am I guilty of "social media blasts." I was thinking that social media blasts are meant to garner attention. To what are we drawing attention? Truth or just ourselves?
Edification, that's the name of the game. And that's what I need to seek to do. I'm sure it would involve a lot less churning.