count to 10 before you hit “send”

Christians online, judgement online, anger online, complaining online, grace

“Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous . . .”
~1 Peter 3:8, NKJV

“If it is not good, kind or true you best not be thinking it and you most certainly
best not be saying it.”
~my Mamma

Living online it’s easier than ever to communicate with a simple click. But anyone can power on and puke. Note: just because someone has influence online (numbers + reach) does not mean they have integrity to match.

It feels good to have the instant gratification at your fingertips; to sound off about what and who we like and . . . and what and who we don’t like. But what feels good can’t always be trusted and—more importantly—may not always honor God. A very real someone is on the recieving end of your gripe be it a business, a person, an organization, or an official. It’s not unheard of for a business to suffer severe losses or even shut down following a viral complaint. And, we all know the plague of cyberbullying that begs us to model self control and compassion online. Sharing negatively online can become a selfish way to let the whole world know you’ve been mistreated or that you’re the victim of some serious service failure.

You’ve seen the posts (and just maybe even shared a few):

  • The service @____ is horrible
  • The waitresses @____ are clueless
  • Some people don’t deserve to _____
  • _____ customer service rep is______
  • That idiot at _____ figured my bill wrong
  • I will die of old age just waiting for service @____
  • The pastor at ______ is preaching on ______ again
  • My husband / wife is _____
  • My kid never____
  • That teacher is_____
  • Our (insert government leader) is an _____

As Spiderman says: With great power, comes great responsibility. As Christians, we need to stand apart from the way the world uses social media. We need to exhale our self interest and inhale the will of the Holy Spirit when our “feelings” urge us to sound off online.

Pray for:

  1. Discipline. It takes discipline to count to ten and die-to really die to the things that should not be thought or said about another person, place or thing.
  2. Grace. It takes grace to control emotions in what feels like unjust situations. Loving people—genuinely loving—doesn’t leave much room for unkindness to crash the party.
  3. Strength. Resist the urge to tell your online communities how a someone or something disappointed you. There are two sides to every story. If you knew the other side,  you might deeply regret your lack of compassion in the moment.

Besides counting to ten, what else can you do to put your emotions in check before you respond? Please share your wisdom.

Post/Tweet this today:
Believe the best in people who disappoint you. Stand out online. Give crazy grace to others—just as Jesus gives it to you. #LiveSticky


  • http://twitter.com/MegMeeker Meg Meeker

    Thanks for the reminder! Great advice!

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  • http://twitter.com/TamiHeim TamiHeim

    You are welcome Meg. We all need to be reminded about this easy speed and then the consequences of our actions when we choose to respond from that ‘all about me’ place. It takes Holy Spirit discipline, grace, and strength to consider all that can happen on the other side of a thoughtless comment.

    Oh Lord, I need You in and me out.

  • Ron Rigsby

    If you fully rely on people you will be disappointed. If you fully rely on Jesus you will not.

  • Anonymous

    Hey Ron – you’ve got that right! So happy you dropped by with your wisdom today! Love ya!

  • http://www.justachick.com Dedra Herod

    I missed this post yesterday… AM IN LOVE WITH IT! You two rock.. period. The End.

  • Ron Rigsby

    Hey Toni-

    I just try to be a good “mirror” and share God’s wisdom.