Have We All Turned into Jerks-What Happened to Love?

Have you ever gone to the comments section of a controversial topic and read the on-going discussion? What is most obvious is that hate is overpowering and love is certainly missing.

Did you find yourself feeling sick to your stomach, and bothered by the way people were conversing with each other?

Some of the words and name calling made you blush, and you couldn’t believe others could talk to each other in that manner?

It’s easy for us to go anywhere on social media and see this type of interaction. It’s heartbreaking as a culture, we are so quick to spew hateful comments at another.

When did we become so hard-hearted and self-righteous?

Fingers are pointed in every direction and divisions are running rampant. Nothing is our fault, and blame is the running game right now.

We each know the best way, the only way.

Becoming Jerks Online

People known as trolls are patrolling cyberspace?? And I thought trolls were only in fairy tales.

In case you don’t know (as was my husband’s case) what a troll is, according to Urban Dictionary: one who posts a deliberately provocative message to a newsgroup or message board with the intention of causing maximum disruption and argument.

Many of us are feeling threatened, anxious, frustrated and confused especially when we spend time on the web. We feel like we are on high alert.

Fists are raised in anticipation.

Have We All Turned into Jerks-What Happened to Love. How do we show love at church and go home and spew hate on the internet? What happened to the Golden Rule? Have love, compassion and civility been lost forever? Jesus was the example of how to live

What Happened to Civility?

My parents used to tell me “if I didn’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say it at all.” Unsaid rules of how to treat others were taught throughout my childhood.

The Golden Rule of loving your neighbor as yourself was still mainstream, or at least it was in my neck of the woods.

One look at the media and Hollywood stars, and we can see many examples of extreme negative behavior in regards to civility.

Spending Our Time Online

Overall, 73% of Americans go online on a daily basis. Along with the 21% who go online almost constantly, 42% go online several times a day and 10% go online about once a day.

5.6% of people identify themselves as online trolls and millennials are 2x as likely to be trolls than adults 55 and older. 1

At what point does our online behavior become our default, normal behavior in daily life? If you’re a troll online, do you become one during the day?

What are the Kids Learning

Kids growing up in the midst of these vitriolic attacks become ingrained with this type of behavior. Empathy and compassion can be clearly lacking in a world where relationships are only found online.

This problem is only going to get worse.

Is there any hope?

Jesus is the Reason

Jesus greatest mission was to show people love through His birth and His death. Love was the cornerstone of His ministry. He loved us, so we can love others.

We aren’t showing love like we should. Do you agree?

Even within the church, we label, criticize and spew hate. In fact, we go to church on Sunday and then by Monday we participate in questionable conversations on Facebook.

What can we learn from Jesus?

  1. Everyone is made in the image of God. As a result, God tells us we need to show respect to everyone regardless of their convictions, skin color, or other differing attributes.
  2. Show compassion because we are all broken and dealing with our own problems. Someone is at the end of a hurtful comment. As a Christian, we need to show grace whether it’s online or in person.
  3. Unite together to bring change. This heartless debating will lead us nowhere. For this reason, we need to collectively show the younger generations how to be compassionate and grace-filled.
  4. Affix no labels. Jesus didn’t look at people as conservative or liberal. Rather, He looked at them as needing a Shepherd. We all need rescuing from sin and given the gift of eternal life. Thus, our mission is to spread the Gospel, not stick labels on each other.

For this reason, the world needs more love and Jesus is the answer. A lack of love is quite evident on social media and in real, everyday life.

Have We All Turned into Jerks-What Happened to Love. How do we show love at church and go home and spew hate on the internet? What happened to the Golden Rule? Have love, compassion and civility been lost forever? Jesus was the example of how to live

God’s love is for us all.

Therefore, we need to do the same whether it’s on social media or in our non-web based life.

7 Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God   1 John 4:7, NLT).

Exhibiting love to others should be a tell-tale sign of your faith.

(Romans 13:10, NLT)

10 Love does no wrong to others, so love fulfills the requirements of God’s law.

As Christians, we should stand apart from the mainstream culture.

(Ephesians 4:2, NLT)

2 Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.

These are gifts of the Holy Spirit, is your fruit evident?

The biggest way we can share the Gospel is living out love each day. Jesus was love in every encounter, and it was evident throughout His life.

Everyone here on Earth needs Jesus and love.

What happened to love? Stop being a jerk and spread the love.

  1. http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/12/08/one-fifth-of-americans-report-going-online-almost-constantly/

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31 thoughts on “Have We All Turned into Jerks-What Happened to Love?

  1. The biggest problem is that believers in Christ are just as guilty at provoking arguments as non-believers. Ephesians 4 starts off with an admonition that all of us should take to heart. “Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” We need to learn to ask ourselves if what we say, post, tweet, chat etc is worthy of our calling, expresses humility, gentleness, patience, love and is unifying. If not, then maybe we just need to keep our thoughts to ourselves. Thanks for your post

  2. Oh, heavens, yes. So tired of all the harsh talk, and yet we serve a God who tells us to abide in love, so may we follow the guidelines of your counsel here, Julie, and simply observe the golden rule!

  3. That makes me giggle, “Stop being a jerk.” 🙂 Thanks for making me smile. — And, isn’t it so true that many seem to have forgotten manners a lot of the time, these days?! Seems it’s an emotionally-charged culture anymore. Might have something to do with the fact that we’re all behind screens. Good reminders to follow Jesus’ example in loving everyone, where they are, regardless of where that is — and without labels. Thanks for sharing your words with #ChasingCommunity today, Julie. 🙂 ((Hug))

    1. Brenda- I definitely think the screens aren’t doing anything good socially for us.I’m glad I gave you a smile!
      Thanks for hosting the linkup!

  4. Very little is accomplished by the arguments on social media. We need to be conversing with people in person, speaking truth in love. We need more kindness, more time listening and relating to people–and I include myself. Thanks for raising this issue!

  5. It’s why I refuse to be pulled into any political debates. It’s like no one wants to take the high road, no one wants to be christlike and everyone wants to be right. And I just don’t have the time for it – it’s like my antennae goes up and it just makes sense to not be involved or bothered. It doesn’t mean I don’t have an opinion, it just means that my opinion is precious and not to be shared with every Tom, Dick, and Harry.

    1. This is me too. It opens the door for me to get defensive and divisive. So I don’t join in these debates.
      Thanks for stopping!

  6. Thanks for taking on this tricky topic, Julie! Especially over the past year, I have struggled to speak truth without adding to the hatred and hostility all around us. Sometimes, I’m tempted just to say nothing at all, but, then, I think of Jesus angrily cleansing the temple in Matthew 21. Other times, I’m tempted to share my thoughts recklessly and loudly, but, then, I think of verses like those you highlighted. The 4 points you listed above so succiently express some of the things to consider before speaking, and I hope they will help me discern how to communicate in a Christ-like manner. #graceandtruth

    1. Melissa- I just don’t say anything, God probably wants me to speak up. I just know if something mean was said, I would engage back and not display what God wants me to.
      Thanks for stopping!

  7. The trolls are crazy, and it makes me cringe when I see people feeding in to the fake havoc they are out there trying to wreak. People are up for an argument and defensive about everything these days! But, stay on social media. Be a light, and don’t engage with anything without prayer first. We never know who we are going to reach. Imagine how God can use an outlet of reach …
    Happy Monday!
    Megs

    1. Thanks Meg for the encouragement, it’s brutal on the web. Everyone is blaming and everyone is the victim. Thanks for stopping!

  8. I agree. Sometimes the comments are so hard to read. I saw a sermon where everyone needs to take a humble stance on the internet. I have tried to use that advice when i comment on the internet. It is hard to explain how you feel when you are proud and not willing to hear the other side. Great post.

  9. Thanks for your candor, Julie! My kids and husband sometimes tell me I should check social media more often. Truth is, I don’t want to get sucker into the negativity. One way I curtail my own negativity online is to ask myself if my parents or pastor would be shocked or offended by a response. If the answer is yes, then I try to keep it to myself

  10. My dad used to say, “Civility costs nothing.” The anonymous nature of the online world encourages people to write things they probably wouldn’t have the guts to say to someone face to face.

    1. Carol- you’re right, but the fact we spend so much time online makes me wonder what kind of society it will be for my kids. Spewing hate online and in person? That thought makes me sad.

  11. I agree! Although those who act like jerks are probably doing it just to be troll-like–and because it feeds a need that they have. I like to pray for the trolls that I come across on line ;).

  12. 1 Kings 19:18 Yet I will leave seven thousand in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.

    Thank you for posting this. Has the whole world gone crazy? Sometimes we feel – as Elijah did – that we are all alone in our thinking and it is encouraging to know there are others that have not succumbed to the madness.

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