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I scratch my head at people who regularly post ranting diatribes on Social Media. Just why are they posting? Do they think that person or organization they are so vehemently opposed to will take heed of their tirade? Do they think their rant will shame the guilty party to change? Do they believe they are going to convince others to join their ‘camp’ or their ‘side’ by their non-stop blustering? If so, I can imagine how frustrated they must be when they don’t get the response they were hoping for. I am sure they think the rest of the world are gullible blundering idiots.
I also wonder, have they ever considered presenting a reasonable solution to the problem? Have they taken as much time to think about how they could be part of the solution as they have taken the time to complain about the problem? I have a feeling that if they did, the time spent ranting would decrease, and their overall happiness and contentment with life would increase.
If there is a high unemployment rate in their town, what are they doing to change the atmosphere? Are they praying? Are they helping the chronically unemployed to write resumes? Are they volunteering at a local literacy program? Are they creating grassroots babysitting clubs so single moms can go out on job interviews? Are they networking with others in their community to bring new business and employment opportunities to town? Are they presenting their concerns through polite and respectful letters to their government representatives? Are they broadcasting the good things that ARE happening in their city?
If they disagree with a Christian teacher, preacher or pastor on a particular teaching, are they so busy branding these fellow believers heretics or worse, that they forgot to present their own doctrinal stance in a thoughtful and theologically sound article?
Have they actually done their own homework? Have they read or listened to the actual preacher, teacher or pastor in question to see if they actually said what others had accused them of saying? Or are they relying solely on second-hand information? Are they justifying their judgment of fellow believers by passing along second-hand carefully edited sound-bytes and quote-clipping tirades from fellow witch-hunters blogs and posts?
It’s easy to say someone is wrong but it’s a lot harder to explain exactly why you are right.
If you’ve noticed that your ranting is not giving you the results you were hoping for, perhaps it’s time to change your tactics.
If you feel a rant coming on, consider the following five tips before publishing your rant.
- Write the rant down in a word-processor and not in the comment box or status box of your favourite social media outlet. Let it all out. Use all the colorful language you have held in. Let it go, to coin a song we are all tired of hearing. Rant about the song! Once satisfied that you got it all out, backspace and delete that rant.
- Once you have your anger and frustration out of your system, write a thoughtful, rational response. Back up your suspicions and criticisms with actual proof you researched by going to the source
- Don’t be a lazy ranter. You do yourself and others a great disservice, and you will only embarrass yourself. Get your facts straight. Don’t expect a ranting blog or a damning book you read to give you an unbiased view of a situation. Read the book in question or listen to the entire teaching of the person that you have decided to label as ‘evil, heretical, or deceived’ before you pass on a sound-byte or a short quote you read somewhere else.
- Before you state your opinion on Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Reddit), think about how you wish others to perceive you. Intelligent? Reasonable? Competent? When you read your blog, Facebook Status or Tweet, do you come across as someone who those who are reasonably intelligent would like to follow?
- Be willing to take personal responsibility and state concrete examples on how you will do your best to bring effective change.
Until Next Week
© 2016 Katherine Walden
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