Resurrected Living
"What are you going to do with your new resurrected life? This is the heroic question." Richard Rohr

What Would Jesus Facebook?

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?” (Matt. 5:43-47)

As I look at Facebook, I see a lot of us vs. them statements and articles being posted. We naturally tend to divide ourselves into groups. We demonize the other side while overlooking the faults and shortcomings of our own group. Whenever a new issue arises, we do not have to examine the facts because we have already made up our minds the moment we chose a side. Arguments abound on Facebook because no one ever changes their mind because of a post on social media. Our posts rally the side we are on while infuriating the other side. People go back and forth, jabs are thrown, and eventually both sides are upset and more ingrained concerning their original position than before the argument began. There is little or no meaningful engagement on social media when we set out to prove the other side wrong. Worse yet, when we see others as our enemy, we often dehumanize them in some way. This is rarely a conscious decision on our part. However, it happens because we are trying to rationalize why they have come to a conclusion or position that we find irredeemable.

I am not against having discussions where deep disagreements exist. In fact, I believe this is necessary and healthy to our communities and our nation as a whole. I do believe that before we post or comment on Facebook, we should follow the advice of Jesus.

1. We should pray for our enemies, whether they are real or perceived.

2. We should see everyone as a human being created in the image of God. It is especially easy to dehumanize when you are staring at a screen rather than a person.

3. We should seek the good will of anyone we are engaging, whether we know them or not.

4. We should proceed with humility, understanding we might be wrong.

The ways of Jesus bless our lives and the lives of others. They challenge us to be better human beings. As we proceed with the difficult conversations of life, let us do so not simply to win an argument or prove others wrong, but to imitate Jesus in every aspect of our life.

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