With a General Election just weeks away, it’s that time again when all sorts of inflammatory political posts fill up TwitFace, and I’d like to take a minute (just sit right there) to urge us toward thoughtfulness, clarity, charity, and civility. So here’s a few thoughts:
- Consider your words (Prov 12:18) – words have power to build up and encourage, or tear down and destroy.
- Consider what you re-post – not every wit out there deserves more air time (Eph 5:4)
- Consider the best case of those with whom you disagree (Jam 1:19)
- Put yourself in their shoes – how difficult must it be to try and represent diverse groups and view-points?
- Consider their aims and motives – I suspect (maybe I’m naive) that most MPs and political parties want to see people flourish, but they will have different visions of how that may be achieved in the short, medium, and long-term
- Think the best, not the worst of others (1 Pet 3:8)
- Exercise caution. Get informed before you hit ‘share’ – it is possible that what you’re about to share is libellous – therefore illegal as well as immoral (Prov 18:7)
- Represent the best case of those with whom you disagree – don’t fall into the promotion of cheap-shot caricatures (Exod 23:1)
- Don’t believe everything that’s on Facebook! (Prov 14:15)
- Add value – contribute something positive – don’t just rant and rave (Eph 4:29)
- If you’re unsure, don’t post it – your moment of doubt probably exists for a reason (Prov 21:23)
- Think about arguments – which ones are good and bad – and why?
- Talk about these things more than you post – it’ll make you think more carefully about your arguments and how you express them
- Pray more than you post! (1 Tim 2:1-4) – nuff said!
- Trust that God is control (Rom 13:1)
- Go back and read the above Bible verses if you decided to skip them
What other principles would you include in thinking about our engagement with politics on social media?