How To Get Out Of Social Media Traps

This happened to me last week:

It took me a couple of tweets to see the trap I’d fallen into. I looked around me and saw that I was in a miry place I could not get out of without effort. So I made the effort, remembering a couple things I learned from Scripture:

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. (Romans 12:18.)

and,

A gentle answer turns away wrath,
    but a harsh word stirs up anger. (Proverbs 15:1.)

I decided the best thing to do was say I’m sorry and delete the offending tweets I’d posted.

So I did.

I don’t know if the other person saw the apology or noticed that I deleted the tweets she objected to, and I’ll probably never know. She’d already blocked me.

God Doesn’t Block

I find myself falling into traps all the time, usually of my own making. Whether it’s a trap I’ve created or one sprung on me it can be hard to get out. When it comes to the trap of sin, I find I’m positively stuck if left to my own devices.

King David felt the same:

I waited patiently for the Lord;
    he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
    out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
    and gave me a firm place to stand.
(Psalm 40:1-2.)

Some of the pits David found himself in were of his own design (dealing with the consequences of taking Bathsheba – the wife of one of his favored warriors – into his bed) and some were sprung by others (Saul plotting to kill David). Regardless, David knew that when it came to getting out of the muck and mire in that pit he needed God’s help.

God did not leave David there, blocking off his pleas when David put himself there in the first place. Rather, God reached down, pulled David from the mire, and placed him on solid ground.

Jesus place everyone who belongs to him on solid ground:

They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. (Luke 6:48.)

Jesus also said he will never forsake you:

And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. (Matthew 28:20.)

Always means always. And then what happens when Jesus returns at the end of the age we presently live in?

I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. (John 14:3.)

No matter what pit you find yourself feeling trapped in, Jesus will pull you out, he will set you on solid ground, and he is with you whether down in the pit or lifting you up with him.

***

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15 Responses to How To Get Out Of Social Media Traps

  1. Bev Murrill says:

    I agree, Tim. By nature I’m a fighter, but God has called me to be a lover. Conflict of interests there. He has taught me to speak life in every situation, and that makes it difficult for me to get stuck into someone else, no matter how much I disagree with their stance. It may make for less interesting blogging, but my conscience doesn’t give me gyp.

    • Tim says:

      The times I really fall into the trap is when I think I’m speaking life and then find the person was on a different tack entirely and now I’ve offended them by misunderstanding and trying to join in in the first place. That’s when I need to put down the computer and slowly back away.

  2. Jeannie says:

    Sorry that happened to you, Tim. It looks to me like you handled it with humility — and even if the other person never knows that you did all you could to make things right, you can be at peace about it.

    Your larger point connects really well with a short story I’m working on right now. One of the characters (father to a small boy) is extremely hard-hearted: if he sees someone in trouble his attitude is “They got themselves into this mess; if you help them out they’ll just become dependent on others and won’t learn their lesson.” And this attitude is influencing the mind of the young son, who worships and fears his father at the same time. I’m SO glad God isn’t like that, “blocking off our pleas” as you put it.

    • Tim says:

      That short story sounds powerful, Jeannie. I’m looking forward to reading it when completed. Will it be blog length or longer?

      • Jeannie says:

        Probably much longer: my stories are usually in the 4-5,000 word range. Unfortunately the virtue of conciseness is one with which I have little more than a nodding and superficial acquaintance.

  3. Life With Teens & Other Wild Things says:

    I’ve found that civility wins over all… Mostly. Some topics are just too controversial, and too difficult, and I try to remember that the emotions on the other end of the wires are just as strong and valid as my own. Even if I strongly disagree with someone, I need to be at the very least civil, and I need to try to be kind.

    Not always easy, and I often fail. He knows we are but dust… but to honor my Lord, I keep getting back up when I fall.
    (hugs) Tim. You’re not the only one who gets themselves blocked now and then.

    • Tim says:

      I try to remember those strong emotions others may be feeling too, LwT. I never know what someone else may be going through and want to be an encourager and not someone they see as part of the problems they’re dealing with.

  4. Muff Potter says:

    Sorry to hear you got blocked Tim. It’s too bad, because I’ve never seen you to be anything but fair and even handed over at TWW. For the most part though, I think it’s just the times we live in. People get ‘offended’ at the drop of a hat nowadays. It’s ironic that for all the negative press ‘the bad old days’ has received, I think that in some ways we were much more ‘tolerant’ back then.

    • Tim says:

      Thanks, Muff. It grieves me that people are quick to dismiss and slow to engage thoughtfully. Being on the receiving end just reminds me that I need to make sure I stay open to what other people have to say.

  5. LT says:

    Just saw this on your Twitter feed today (ironically). Given all the blocking going on these days by pastors and churches this post seems particularly relevant. God doesn’t block his children and to the extent these shepherds do this they are blocking off fellowship and the opportunity to really hear from someone in a meaningful way. I’m not talking about blocking the profane btw, but simply people you disagree with or when you don’t like what the person is saying because truth can sometimes be painful It’s obvious that they have no interest in dialoging or pursuing sheep.

    For these elites, if your feedback isn’t praise-filled gushing, you’re dead to them. I’m still floored that @AnnVoskamp had @FakeAnnVoskamp suspended. I have seen sharp criticism from parody accounts and FakeAnnVoskamp was neither critical nor sharp. It was whimsical and funny. It poked some gentle fun at Ann’s over the top flowery and bucolic prose, nothing more. That utter lack of tolerance and grace from someone getting very wealthy off of selling “grace” is hypocritical at best and realistically very unChristlike and not very Eucharisteo for the money she’s made off those books and $300 Christmas ornaments. I didn’t have any real feelings about AV one way or another prior to this, but now she seems like a money grubby hypocrite. The criticism she meant to cut off by suspending another person’s free speech has only come back to revisit her twice as hard.

    I realize the “What Would Jesus Do?” question is cliche, but would Jesus block or suspend people? I don’t think so. Maybe Peter might, but I doubt the other Apostles would either.

    As for you getting blocked, I can only imagine that this person had never spent any time reading what you write. You are fair and balanced, kind and compassionate, discerning but not harsh. I love your analysis and I aspire to be more like you. It is truly her loss.

  6. Tim says:

    You are very encouraging, and I thank you for it. I hope to keep dialog open and relationships healthy.

  7. IS SPEAKING GOD’S TRUTH UNLOVING AND UNCHRISTLIKE? BY STEVE FINNELL
    Is preaching the truth and exposing the false doctrines of denominational churches being unloving and unchristlike? Is preaching that Christians will go to heaven and those who reject Jesus as the Son of God will spend eternity in hell the example of an unloving Christian?

    YOU ARE INVITED TO FOLLOW MY BLOG>> steve-finnell.blogspot.com

    [Edited for brevity’s sake: Tim.]

    • Tim says:

      Steve, I’ve asked before that you not reproduce entire blog posts in your comments here. They do not foster dialog. Also, I couldn’t see how this particular post of yours pertained to what I wrote. If you want to leave a link to a post on your blog that relates to what I’ve written, feel free. But otherwise please use this comment section to interact rather than hold forth.

      Cheers,
      Tim

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