I don’t know about you, but I am consistently put off by negative, unkind and insensitive comments that follow a news item on the internet. I confess I’m perplexed, saddened and confused by the words some choose to write in response to the tragedies or even the joys that are shared and reported every single day on the worldwide web.
It makes me wonder by the comment threads that follow nearly every story, “Is this really what people are thinking? Do these comments really represent the thoughts, feelings, and opinions of the greater population?” And before one thinks I’m reading comments solely from the United States, I’m not. I read articles from African and European websites too. The negative views expressed there are no different.
Why? What’s causing so many people to vent?
We’ve also heard of the tragic consequences of cyber bullying. Some of the world’s youth are following the negative comment trend and putting out harsh, judgmental comments and opinions without much thought to the impact of their written words.
Why? What’s causing kids to verbally condemn their peers in such a volatile way?
Honestly, in my InsteadBless world, it’s not supposed to be that way. As a follower of Christ, I am given the privilege to bless and show compassion to others through not only my words but my actions too. I represent my Savior and my God to the world. I want my words to count for something greater. I follow the example set by my God…
Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you;
therefore he will rise up to show you compassion.
For the Lord is a God of justice.
Blessed are all who wait for him! Isaiah 30:18 NIV
Our identity and our favor are found in God. He longs to be merciful and gracious to us. Our significance is not found in putting down, but rather lifting up!
If you look up the word “longs” and the word “wait” in Hebrew, they both come from the Hebrew transliterated word, chaqah. The root meaning of chaqah is to cut, to engrave and to pierce.
Whereas the negative comments of the internet world are consciously or unconsciously meant to cut and to pierce the hearts and minds of other readers, our Lord is allowing Himself to be cut, pierced and engraved in a far different way. He is waiting for us to turn to Him for transformation and blessing.
And as our Lord waits, something beautiful, gracious, good and merciful is being engraved upon His hands as He waits for us.
Chaqah is also found in the words of Isaiah 49:13, when the Lord says through the prophet Isaiah, “See, I have engraved you on the palm of my hands…”
I bet you can tell where I’m being led with all of this; check out Isaiah 53:5…
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
Every word of transgression that we read about on the web, every iniquity that is described, every unthinking blow that is inflicted in a comment or thread, pierced the body of Christ. He took on cyber bullying and responded with surrender, grace, mercy, and compassion.
I cannot control what others may write on an internet site in response to what they read. I cannot force people to be nice and considerate. Ultimately, I am only responsible for myself and what I will choose to say, to write, and to act upon. And as I already have said, I choose to follow the example of my Savior. He chooses to rise up over the muck and demonstrate His compassion. I do, too.
Jesus Christ has risen to show His grace, His compassion, His justice, and His blessing to all that call upon His name. For you, the issue may be something quite different than hurtful words on an internet site. The response of Christ is the same. He is waiting for you to turn your attention to Him, to lay your burdens at His feet, and call upon His name.
By His wounds, we are healed, forgiven and set free from the mean-spirited, harsh and painful realities of this fallen world. As we wait for Him for our hope and deliverance, we are blessed with His peace and His assurance that His compassion and help are ours…forever in Christ.
Now, that’s something to comment upon with thanksgiving and praise, don’t you think?!
Photo by Forever Faithful t o Jesus of Flickr