Saturday, September 26, 2015

"Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble"

Proverbs 21:23

In case someone from a far away planet hasn't heard, I will break this news gently. 2016 is an election year and the mud-slinging has already begun. There, I've said it, and I have made a commitment to stay out of the fray. Why? Because I want to keep my friends. 

Facebook has been a pleasant experience for me. I've reconnected with old friends from all walks of my life, and I've made many new friends that I would have never met otherwise. I've laughed with them and cried with them. Met them for lunch and had long phone conversations. I've found that I have so much in common with classmates that I had absolutely nothing in common with in school. We've grown. We've helped each other find joy in our life celebrations and comfort in our sorrows. And a few of them, I've held their hands in homes and hospital rooms as they've reached the end of their lives here on earth.

Most of us have tried to find a common ground even though we may have different religious and/ or political beliefs. I don't want my new or old friends to think less of me because of something we disagree on. And I don't want to think less of them because of opinion. And that is where this is all leading....

I enjoy reading posts from people I agree with, but isn't this the way of things? If we picked all our friends on Facebook who shared our same views, then we could Facebook "share" all the dirt and throw barbs at the opposing political candidates as much as we choose and laugh about it. But we don't pick our friends that way. I don't have any problems at all reading newsworthy items from a reliable source and try to stay as open minded as possible as I've made my voting choices.  I've stepped beyond Party lines to vote for a candidate not affiliated with my party several times since I became eligible to vote because I didn't agree with the party's choice. 

What I don't like is the sharing of garbage bashing one candidate or another from some off-the-wall Facebook post that the person sharing has not even bothered to research to see if it's true. The factchecks and snopes sites are not always reliable sources. If I'm going to post something as the truth, I'm going to dig a lot deeper before I embarrass myself by passing on false information. My advice is to google it and see for yourself where it came from, and see if there's some truth behind it, before hitting that 'share' button. 

Or better yet - don't post it at all. Because, honestly - why would anyone want to know my opinion about politics? The fact is, they don't. And if I've shared my opinion, they may think I'm some hotheaded lunatic. And likewise, do I want to hear what other people say about their political likes or dislikes? Absolutely not.

Yes, I have posted an occasional political post, and yes, I'm now embarrassed that I did. Did it make people think less of me? Probably. Did it change anyone's mind politically? A forceful, NO, it did not. Then why would I want to force my opinions on others and in the process ruin a good friendship?

 Occasionally I've started to "share" something, and that little voice inside me that I call conscious stops me and says, "Glenda, don't you want to think about this before you post it?" So I stop, and when I go back to it later, I'm glad that I listened to the voice and didn't post. The same with comments. I've learned to hold my tongue. And now, I have vowed not to post anything political at all. If I do, it will be through private messaging my like-minded friends. Will it be easy? No. I love voicing my opinion - sometimes loudly, sometimes viciously. Therein lies the problem. So for me and my house, I will keep my mouth shut.

We all have a right to free speech. We have a right to say and post anything we want as long as it falls within Facebook's guidelines. Thankfully, we also have the option of changing our friendship status to weed out posts that we get tired of seeing. We're all in this old world together. Let us seek to get along peacefully.

There are several Bible verses that address this. Here are a few that come to mind:

Ephesians 4:29 "Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear."

Exodus 23:1 ESV "You shall not spread a false report. You shall not join hands with a wicked man to be a malicious witness."

James 1:26 ESV "If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person's religion is worthless."

Matthew 12:36 "I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak,"

And my personal favorite and the one I have the most trouble obeying:

Proverbs 21:23 "Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble"




5 comments:

  1. Hi Glenda. Good to see a newBlog Post from you today. I lived the bible verses, and I totally agree with you about voicing our political opinions. Some posts really are so vicious and unnecessary. That sort of thing really annoys me, and, quite frankly, that is not what I am in Facebook for. Well said my friend.

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  2. Sorry. That should have read , I LOVED THE Bible verses !

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    1. If you have lived the Bible verses, you are just about perfect, lol. I love that I'm not the only one whose brain can't keep up with her typing fingers. I knew you were one that would be annoyed by posts like that. After all, we are twins, aren't we?

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    2. I'm smiling over here by your comment, and, yes, we are twins indeed !

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