Twitter Spats and Speaking with Grace

Twitter can be a useful tool but every time I visit there I’m reminded that the tongue is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless God even the Father and at the same we curse people which are made after the similitude of God. My brothers and sisters, these things ought not be.

Some people (even Christians) are bolder, more aggressive online – it’s called “online disinhibition,” the lack of restraint one feels when communicating online in comparison to communicating in-person. Perhaps it’s because when we’re hidden behind a computer screen that similitude of God is not as clearly seen.

The culture in which we are called to live as salt and light is arguably as politically, racially, and ideologically divided as it has ever been. As Christians we are called to a higher standard in how we behave ourselves toward others – whether believer or unbeliever!

Man’s standard, based on what is culturally acceptable, says treat people well when they treat you well. If they don’t do good to you, you’re under no obligation to do good to them and, in fact, justified in treating them poorly.

God’s standard, rooted in His unchanging character, says “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.”

Daniel was respectful even to Nebuchadnezzar, acknowledging his position of authority though he had every reason to hate him as the enemy who destroyed his city, his nation, and his life. Even when he could not support his belief system or actions.

God generously, voluntarily, graciously, kindly, and indiscriminately initiates good to us, even when we were enemies.

Will our conduct be based on man’s actions (treat others AS they treat you), or on God’s nature (giving grace to those who mistreat you)? My obligation to do right is NOT contingent on the conduct of others. In fact, the more a person acts wrongly, the greater the demand of grace that I act rightly.

The church is at its best when it is being counter-cultural and there is no better way for the church be contrary to our culture than to glorify God by acting toward others with the same grace He has acted toward us.

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