Although in Christ we are one body, sometimes we don’t behave that way on the internet, especially when it comes to politics. We get ugly. We slice each other with our words. And because we are one body, we collectively bleed.
Yet we have the power to disagree earnestly with members of our Christian family, yet still remain brothers and sisters when Election Day is over. So before you hit “Post,” consider these strategies for helping us love one another:
1. Post it on social media only if you would say it face to face.
No ad hominem attacks. Insults are a no-go. In God’s kingdom, peacemakers are called the sons and daughters of God. Make Dad proud. Read James 1:19–20 for inspiration: “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.”
2. Pretend you’re writing to Jesus. Only then proceed.
You wouldn’t talk to Jesus with that tone, would you? Remember Ephesians 4:29? It says, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Make this your internet filter.
3. Assume the best.
Disagreement doesn’t mean hate. Assume the other person likes you, which is why he or she cares enough to challenge you in the first place.
4. Remember who is in control.
Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). Phew! That’s settled.
5. Try on the other person’s glasses.
By God’s design, we all see through different lenses so that we can learn, love, and grow—together.
Consider without condescension which lenses your sister or brother may be using to view the world.
6. Practice self-control…through silence.
Sometimes your most brilliant reply is the one that’s never posted. Proverbs 17:28 says, “Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues.”
7. Leave room for reconciliation.
Conflict creates a space for dialogue and resolution. Follow the steps in Matthew 18:15–17. Keep communication open, and cling to what, and who, unites you both.
We have an opportunity to display grace, forgiveness, and long-suffering by the way we communicate. Let’s be marked by love instead of self-inflicted scars.
About the Contributors
Sharifa Stevens (ThM, 2004) is a Manhattan-born, Bronx-raised child of the King, born to Jamaican immigrants. Sharifa’s passion is to serve God’s kingdom by leading His people in worship through music, speaking and writing. A graduate of both Columbia University and Dallas Theological Seminary, Sharifa writes for Insight for Living Ministries. She currently lives in Dallas with two energetic sons and her renaissance husband, Jonathan.