I’ve been silent.
I hate stirring up unnecessary dissension. It is why I often find myself retreating away from conversations regarding politics—a nasty blood bath of words always seems to exude in its wake.
Yet I do have an opinion. I AM taking in information behind the scenes and weighing in on what I value and comparing it to what the other candidate’s values are.
I do care about the political race for presidency. I care about the future generation of this country. I love the red, white and blue and for which it stands. However I do not believe that voicing everything I think about this topic all over social media is always necessary. And here’s why:
#1) In many ways, it’s hard to know what to believe when there are so many subjective opinions out there on anything to do with politics, making it hard to know where to stand.
From one article to the next, from one discussion feed to the other, there’s so much conversation going on… and yet, very few (if any) reliable resources. Even the news and media, no especially the news and media, have hidden agendas behind the information they present. Therefore, trying to make an accurate assumption of what’s been said and where the truth lies is altogether impossible to know, let alone to make a solid opinion on and shared all over cyber space.
#2) Discussing politics almost always brings about divisiveness, destruction and hate between others instead of unity, community and love.
I do my best to avoid bringing an attitude of hate and separation to others lives. Although I hear some of you thinking, “well aren’t you vocal about your faith which is a sensitive topic?” Yes, I’m vocal about my faith, which definitely can and does lead to arguments from time to time about what is believed to be true and what is not. Yet, when I talk about my faith I strongly believe its sources are valid (the Bible I can trust) and I seek to share this with an attitude of love and grace to all. Much different than a strong-man argument when it comes to politics.
#3) Voicing opinions out of bitterness or force will never appease the crowd to listen, let alone convince others to follow your advice.
I see a LOT of strong-man arguments with malicious intents based on a LOT of what I mentioned in point #1 (subjective opinions), which then leads to point #2 (hatred). NO thank you! Perhaps if we as Christians spent as much time praying for our political leaders instead of slandering each one, something good might actually come from it?
#4) You set yourself up for feelings to be hurt; your own or others in your circle of friendships.
You may think, “well cry me a river won’t you!” like this doesn’t matter much. I get it, it’s the current flow of culture, to be overly calloused and have a “who cares what you think or what you feel” attitude. People say “freedom of speech” and scream it to the rooftops, yet have lost all sensitivity to what their words and actions are doing to the hearts and lives of others around them.
Words matter people… even passive words matter and affects more people than you may realize. It is why I’ve become more and more cautious with my own words and what I say. Your words may be stirring up more anger and strife between your friends, co-workers, and family than you know. Why spend your time shattering relationships? Being silent on social media about politics doesn’t mean cowardness. It means that for me, there is a greater good for which I stand—to build love, community, and unity. I cannot seem to share my views on politics without bringing into the discussion the opposite of what I value even more… the greater good.
#5) Finally, face-to-face conversations are always better than digital to digital conversations.
Look, I’m a real person with real flesh and blood moving through my veins. I have emotions and feelings and am quite sensitive to the insensitivity of others around me. I think we forget these same principles apply to the people of position we so negatively talk about all over social media? They are real people too. They were created in God’s image. Even if they don’t understand this or believe it themselves, it is our job as believers in Christ to be kind and demonstrate our understanding of our own image as Christ bearers and wear it with dignity and discipline. Be sensitive. Stand firm in your beliefs yes, but stand firm with a heart of love and intentionality to build relationships instead of break them.
Let’s think before we speak. Perhaps we will all be better off with a few less words spewed in the clutter of cyberspace.