Throughout the 2020 pandemic and presidential election, social media became a sounding board for a multitude of complaints. Rants took over like weeds in a garden. Anger, frustrations, and disgruntled opinions sent friction throughout the airwaves.
Voicing those opinions on social media only stirred more dissatisfaction and caused heated responses. People blocked or unfriended followers who disagreed with them, calling them names, and belittling their opinions. Some went on the rampage, scrounging for more souls to jump on the tirade train.
While we understand the discontent with last year’s stay-at-home orders and mask wearing mandates that have now spilled over into 2021, some of us could use an attitude transformation for the new year. Keeping our eyes on Christ will help us see the good in others and receive the inner peace we desire.
You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast because they trust in you. Isaiah 26:3 NIV
Christian writers have an enormous responsibility to rise to a higher level in the code of ethics when using social media, text messages, and Messenger. The tier of behavior doesn’t mean we are better than anyone else. It simply means as Christians, we have a distinctive set of values.
When I receive a message that puts me on defense, I ponder what I did or said or what I wrote that resulted in the abrupt response. Have I hurt the person’s feelings? Rather than letting it simmer in my gut or allowing the comment to fester, I pray and then respond by asking if there’s a problem.
Most of the time, I misinterpreted the meaning of their message. However, if the situation is reversed, I am quick to resolve the issue, even if it means apologizing for something I didn’t do. That, my friends, is a humbling experience and one of the many ways to maintain inner peace.
It’s easy to misinterpret the purpose behind a comment. Therefore, we must select our words wisely to avoid negative responses that expose others’ hateful attitudes. We’re all susceptible to misunderstandings.
While I agree that mistakes can be made and settling an issue is imperative, sometimes we must stand for the truth even if someone takes offense.
Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him? I Corinthians 2:16 NIV
Have frustrations with public outbursts seeped through and affected our attitudes? Do our followers perceive us as less than Christian? When we expose an unChristlike attitude, we face the consequence of reestablishing our status as a follower of Jesus.
Attitude, according to Merriam-Webster, means “a mental position with regard to a fact or state, a feeling or emotion toward a fact or state, a negative or hostile state of mind, a cool, cocky, defiant, or arrogant manner.”
As writers, we can relate to negative behaviors. Antagonists are characters in novel writing who cause upheavals in the lives of our hero and heroine. They are adversaries who are hostile, exposing undesirable attitudes and actions, much like people who freely express their disgruntled opinions to the public.
We often experience judgment of the lost. They ridicule and confront us, mocking when something we’ve posted challenges their beliefs or behaviors. Make sure the Bible is quoted accurately or it opens the door for more mockery. Let us not assume our understanding of the Bible is only limited to us. Even Satan quoted Scripture to Jesus.
The devil led him (Jesus) to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the Temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down from here. For it is written: He will command his angels concerning you to guard you carefully; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.” Luke 4:9-11 NIV
It’s kind of sobering knowing we aren’t alone in our knowledge of the Word, don’t you think? Even the enemy memorizes scripture and twists it to make it work for him. If we read and hide God’s Word in our hearts daily, we won’t fall prey to inaccurate quotes of Scripture that misrepresent the Truth.
God is our source of wisdom and guidance in the world. We want to help our followers understand He is always with us and will “make a way where there appears to be no way” if we will trust in Him.
Regardless of past behaviors, God can transform our attitudes and make a new person out of each of us if we allow him because the Bible says in Matthew 19:26b, but with God all things are possible.
What we write can reflect a deeper message whether in the actions and attitudes of our characters or in a simple media post. Even more amazing is when someone realizes he’s wrong and changes his ways. He may still have to face the consequences of his wrongdoing, but his spirit becomes renewed, and he sees the value of life much clearer.
While we may not physically serve on a mission field, our words, whether on social media, in fiction or non-fiction, can reach across the country and around the world. Let us bind together as individuals and members of God’s family by maintaining a Christlike attitude and be the examples He desires of us.
· Be a light in the darkness.
· Encourage others.
· Find the good and compliment regardless of the circumstances.
· Be compassionate to the hurting and show kindness to the disgruntled.
As the old saying goes, “We may be the only Jesus people see,” and what we write or how we present ourselves may be the only source of positivity in their lives. How else will the unsaved find salvation if they don’t see a difference in those who profess to be Christians?
With God on our side, who can be against us? In this new year, let’s allow God to renew our minds, anoint our thoughts, and grant us wisdom in all we do.
I write Romantic Suspense from my small, cozy home in North Mississippi. My writing journey began with freelance articles in denominational Sunday School curriculum and shifted to published short-stories in multiple Anthologies.
The desire to write fiction pushed me to participate in a four-year online writing course by Jerry Jenkins. Upon completing the course, I began pursuing my dream of writing romantic suspense and attending writers conferences.
Loretta Eidson grew up in Memphis, TN. The truth about her is she was: chased by a rhino in Kenya while on a safari, selected by a Maasai Warrior to engage in a wedding dance – to her,
parasailed over the ocean, but promised never to do it again, survived multi-twists on a roller coaster, is a recovering introvert, and is a natural blonde. She loves God, family, friends, and all her social media followers. Her thrill of adventure comes from marrying a Memphis Police officer, Kenneth Eidson, raising three sons and one daughter. Her life never has a dull moment with twelve grandchildren.