I can't imagine I am alone. What do you do when it is someone you know? What do you do when it is someone you don't know? Do you have the right to say something when you have been slammed on Facebook? Should you call someone out from your church when they cuss or post bad theology, for example, on Facebook? Should you do it publicly or privately?
I am not sure I have ALL of the answers, but I think there are three areas which could be helpful when you have been wronged on Facebook.
1. Should you admonish your brother or sister in Christ?
I would rather walk across flaming hot coals, sleep on a bed of nails or swallow a sword than to confront someone. I hate it! Some people love it or even don't care about confrontation. I would prefer to avoid it at all costs, but we are called not to turn our back when a brother or sister are sinning. Leviticus 19:17b (NIV) says, "Rebuke your neighbor frankly so you will not share in their guilt." Galatians 6:1 (NIV) also says, "Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted."
As much as I hate confrontation, there are times when I am sure the Lord is calling me to call someone out on their sin. I do not hastily address it, but cover the issue, myself and the person heavily in prayer. Make sure, as cautioned in these verses, not to be deceived or to fall into sin yourself. You are only responsible for what God has called you to do or say to the person, not their response.
2. Should you talk with your brother or sister in Christ?
If you have been offended and you really can't get past it, you should go to your brother or sister privately. Matthew 18:15 (ESV) says, "If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother." If you are hurt, if you have been sinned against, or if there needs to be restoration, go to your brother or sister privately to discuss the matter. Do not post the wrongs on your Facebook page for all to see. Do not be passive aggressive as talked about in last week's post. Speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15) and gentleness (Galatians 6:1) to your brother or sister. If they listen, then you have gained your brother or sister. What could be greater than that?
3. Should you turn the other cheek?
Can you turn the other cheek and let it go? I know that you can probably sing the song Let It Go by heart, but can you really let it go? Sometimes, I am sad, upset or hurt by a circumstance which has happened, but upon further thought or examination, I realize that the person has not actually sinned against me. My feelings can get hurt even when no one has sinned. Maybe they have wronged me in some way, but will I really withhold forgiveness from someone when Christ did not withhold forgiveness from me.
I tell my kids all the time, "Take the higher road". Sometimes, this is just what we need to do. You can turn the other cheek as in Matthew 5:39. You can be cheated or be defrauded as in 1 Corinthians 6:7. You can forgive as Christ has forgiven you as in Ephesians 4:32. You can do it. It is not always easy, but you can!
I will leave you with this story which I love. It comes from 2 Samuel 16:5-14. David's son, Absalom, wanted to overthrow his father from the the throne. A supporter of Absalom, named Shimei, cursed "continually" at King David and his men as they passed by him. You should read the dialogue yourself, but I love what David says in the end. King David says in 2 Samuel 16:12 (ESV), "It may be that the Lord will look on the wrong done to me, and that the Lord will repay me with good for his cursing today." How refreshing those verses are for me today and every day. Maybe today I will receive a cursing, but tomorrow I may receive a blessing for it. Turn the other cheek, my friends. Take the higher road and let it go.
"Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you." Colossians 3:13, NIV