Welcome back to my series on Paul’s letter to the Romans! By way of an apology for my far too lengthy absence from Simple Praxis, I now present to you a retelling, a riff, a remix of Romans 12:9-21—pertaining to one of the hottest topics embroiling our modern culture: the proliferation of angry screeds on social media.
If the Apostle Paul were here today, he might have a few thoughts about how to be a better netizen. And, of course, he would utilize the very latest in modern communication styles, which probably means he would grab a tablet (iPad, of course) and post…a listicle.
- Speak from your true authentic voice, and don’t feed the trolls. (Or become one yourself!)
- Show empathy for others, remembering that we’re all in this together.
- If you want to win an award, try competing for the grand prize in “making others feel special and awesome.”
- Live with intentionality, striving to serve a worthy cause bigger than your own ego.
- Practice mindfulness as you go about your day, and don’t let the constant barrage of social media outrage and posturing get you down.
- Haters gonna hate, but you have the opportunity to show compassion and rise above the fray. Resist the temptation to stoop to their level.
- Be sensitive to the context. Sometimes it’s fun to share goofy GIFs and cat memes. But sometimes, people just need you to listen and feel the pain they feel.
- Cut the fancy-pants “influencer” crap. You’re just not as cool as you think you are. Try lifting others up and providing them with a platform instead.
- Tearing into that moron who just tweeted a load of B.S. probably isn’t worth it. Don’t lose sight of your own integrity.
- If you can find a way to arrive at a peaceful understanding with your detractors, give it a go. But dont beat yourself up if it doesn’t work out.
- Have faith in this universal truth: karma’s a bitch.
- The worst thing you can do to a troll is be nice to them.
- Sometime life just sucks. You’ll feel like giving up. That’s when, more than ever, the world needs you to take just one more step towards the pursuit of justice, of equality, of freedom. Your voice matters. This work matters. This is your legacy. It will last longer than you know.
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In memory of Rachel Held Evans
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