Communicate the Truth With Kindness, Love and Charity
Social media does not lend itself to constructive conversations on critical issues, but we must do what we can to bring light to the darkness.
Days following the mass shooting at the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, a Detroit-based freelance writer who also describes herself as being raised Catholic posted a meme of Robert Downey Jr. with an expression of relief on his face. The meme said, “Christians when they find out no fetuses were killed in the mass shooting.”
I gasped at first sight. I sat thinking how I might respond. I knew reacting was not the answer. I waited. I prayed. I have known her for a long time and we always respected each other. I learned from the hatefulness on social media in 2020, not to engage in such threads because all it will do is steal my peace and joy. I prayed more. I reached out to my spiritual adviser and a few close friends who I often confide in. I asked the Holy Spirit to guide my response to her which I knew I would do in a private message.
One friend responded back with powerful commentary which I weaved into my message to her. I knew as a Christian I would be remiss if I did not respond to her. We are all called to speak truth in love and charity. Social media does not lend itself to constructive conversations on critical issues and when someone mischaracterizes Christianity and makes such horrible, shameful and sad political arguments, we cannot stay silent. We are called to reach out privately and try to share the truth, and that is what I did.
She responded within a couple of hours, and I got teary-eyed after reading her response. I didn’t want to start an argument. I really didn’t know how she would react to my private message to her. Her response put a smile on my face. She thanked me for reaching out. She said she loved me and my family; she recognizes that we don’t agree on the pro-life issues and although we have headed in different directions over the years, she would love to get coffee with me and chat.
We need to meet people where they are at on their own faith journey. We need to reach out for one-on-one conversations. I am not sharing this to call anyone out. I will not publicly share her name. I am not saying that I haven’t been wrong or posted something that was politically divisive. What I am sharing is the need to reach out to each other. We cannot continue to allow social media platforms, big tech billionaires, and politicians to divide us.
We are called to let our brothers and sisters in Christ know when they have fallen short as Christians. I seek guidance on this front regularly. I know I fall short often. We need to find ways to resolve our issues and search for solutions instead of pointing the political finger that only further divides the nation. If I were a betting woman, I would bet that most of those people fighting on social media would be surprised to discover how much we have in common once we start to communicate with each other instead of yelling at each other. Posting memes meant to insult others is inviting the devil to divide us, so let’s lean on Jesus and call on the Holy Spirit to unite us. If this means reaching out to someone privately, I will continue to do just that while I ask God to give me the words the other person needs to hear.