Lately I’ve been noticing how easy it is for people to be negative and critical about others behind the safety of a keyboard (aka “the internet”). It’s a whole lot easier to say bad things about people you have never met, people who are only an image on a screen. Things are a lot different when you are face-to-face with them.
A few years ago, Jimmy Fallon and All-Star baseball player Robinson Cano set up a humorous prank that illustrates this reality. Please take four minutes to watch this…
What’s really sad is that there are a lot of Christians who are guilty of negatively judging others who they have never met. And far too often they don’t even have enough evidence before going public with their judgments, via blogs, Facebook, twitter, and other social media outlets.
For example, I recently came across a so-called “discernment ministry” website which had a long list of “false teachers.” While perhaps some of them are indeed false teachers, there were some pastors and evangelists listed that I would need to see some credible evidence to back up the charge. So I utilized the search feature on their website and found that these “discernment” bloggers provided no evidence to back up their charges against some of these men.
While falling short of the legal definition of slander, this kind of thing is definitely malice, and is sinful behavior.
So, here’s a challenge to all of us. Before we say something unkind to someone or about someone, let’s make sure we aren’t hiding behind the keyboard. Then, let’s make sure we have plenty of credible evidence to back up our charge. Finally, let’s only speak of them as if we were standing there in front of them, and the people who love them.