I’ve heard many people say, and I have probably been guilty of it too, that “if you don’t like what I put on my Facebook you can unfriend me anytime!” And I’ve also heard the other side; “those people who get on your nerves with their liberal or conservative or racist or hateful or _________ (fill in the blank) posts, I’m unfriending them! I don’t need to see that garbage!”
Basically we’re saying that we shouldn’t have to put up with the frustrating posts and comments of people who don’t agree with us. So I’m just “un-friending” them! Problem solved!
As we all know, our world is divided in many areas and seems to be becoming more divided each day. This division causes a great chasm between groups. And now neighbors, family and former friends have all become enemies who don’t communicate.
Our nation has become a larger version of big city street gangs who control their turf. As long as you stay on your side, I’ll stay on mine, and we won’t have any problems… but if you come bringing your ideas to my side… well then it’s on! Therefore, I’m unfriending you to keep our sides apart – and maintain a false sense of peace.
While I understand the frustration of some obnoxious people, as a Christian I have a very different view.
As a Christian, I am Called to be an agent of reconciliation. Both between God and man, and man and man. As Jesus said “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” (Matt 5:9)
How am I going to reconcile people to God when I “un-friend” those who are not like me? “Un-friending” someone simply makes the divide wider, the frustration greater, and reconciliation harder. How am I, as a Christian, going to be salt and light on social media if I separate myself from those I disagree with and am only “friends” with other Christians or people who agree with my views. Un-friending people who don’t agree with me may make my life less frustrating and my Facebook time more “friendly,” But I’m actually furthering the divide and becoming part of the problem.
And consider this… Just because I don’t agree with them doesn’t make them a bad person. Good people can have bad ideas… and they may choose to shout those ideas. And that may be obnoxious to me, but that doesn’t mean that person is evil.
As a Christian, I choose to love the person no matter their affiliation or worldview. I choose to interact with them, hang around them, and yes, be Facebook friends with them. I don’t have to agree with the politics, views or principles of all of my friends. In fact, I would say, I should definitely have friends whom I disagree with. Why? Because how am I going to reach them with the Gospel if I’m not in their world enough to speak into their lives?
Some of my friend’s Facebook rants frustrate me, (and with some that’s an understatement) but I care enough about them as human beings to maintain our “friendship” so that I could potentially help speak life into them.
We have to care more about the person than their politics.
Certainly there are occasions when un-friending someone is appropriate, but as Christians I think we do it far too easily. Salt is only good for the wounded and light is only good for the darkness. Let’s be salt and light together.
Esse Quam Videri,
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