Recently, I totally blew something out of proportion. I mean EPIC proportion! (You, Elaine? No way? To which I respond: Yes way! I’m like 50 Shades of Cray Cray…Not 50 Shades of Gray, I’m not down with that – see my repost of MelissaJenna.com‘s blog 50 Shades of Magic Mike (In Which I Am VERY UNCOOL))
Instead of getting into the details of who, what, when, where, why…I’ll just say that I posted something on Facebook and someone commented. End of story….not!
This is America, right? Freedom of Speech and all that yada, yada…but the thing is I felt attacked. To make matters worse, this was a dear, sweet friend. I felt confused. And then I felt defensive.
Freaking Facebook! Stupid internet! Log off! Log off NOW!
Disclaimer: I hate Facebook with increasing fire for this very reason. But it’s like a necessary evil for a blogger. Not sure if it’s worth the drama even still!
Let me tell you about this UH-maz-ing friend of mine and WHY I totally should have known that I was being a complete and utter dufus.
Before her “attack” (imagine me doing the air quotes here), her most recent Facebook posts included: asking which highlighters were best for highlighting in a BIBLE and another one telling her friends that she wanted to be on Facebook less so she could focus on GOD.
This is someone who used me as a reference for her to be in service-oriented ministry.
Seriously, can she be any more of an angel?
I talked to my husband later that night and he understood why I felt the way I did. So later on that night, I posted a general status update on Facebook (ya know, because that’s the mature thing to do) about how my posts were never meant to be controversial/harmful. I promptly deleted that little bit of immaturity 30 minutes later. (Please tell me I’m not the ONLY person whose done this?) Hopefully none of my 500+ friends saw it…though I somehow I doubt it.
I prayed, talked to my sister, and went to sleep. When, I awoke with my nursing baby at 6 am and was still thinking about it. I thought, “Okay, I’ve slept on it. I want to understand where she is coming from so I don’t grow bitter. The Christian thing to do is talk to her about it. Right?”
- Rule 1: Bringing an offense to the offender is better than posting it on Facebook.
- (or ANY Social Media Site really.)
- Rule 2: When bringing an offense to the offender, do it in person or over the phone.
- Rule 3: Sometimes there is a time to “call out” someone who has offended you…other times, not so much.
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Rule 1: Bringing an offense to the offender is better than posting it on Facebook.
(or ANY Social Media Site really.)
I sat down on my couch and wrote a short message to her explaining that I was hurt and told her why. I asked her to respond because I wanted to understand what was up.
Later on that day she did respond. And of course, as you may have guessed, she in no way meant for her post to be offensive. She, herself, was actually quite hurt by my message to her. I had said something that caused her to assume that I thought the worst of her!
She said she would reply more fully at a later time because she was so upset.
Apparently, my intonation was lost in the communique.
Oh, dear, me. Why hadn’t I remembered the little piece of advice my friend once told me:
When it comes to interaction over the internet, always read every message in a bright cheery voice. Assume the best, instead of the worst.
Rule 2: When bringing an offense to the offender, do it in person or over the phone.
Instead of following this lovely nugget of wisdom, I messaged her back some “disclaimers” that I thought she was amazing and I didn’t mean it the way she read it.
The more I mulled over the message, the stupider I felt.
Again, I messaged her a series of explanatory texts about how I understand her comment now, how I blew it out of proportion, how I was foolish for saying anything at all!
And I waited.
Don’t you HATE that! When you message someone and you want to know everything is okay between you and they need time! God forbid I give the woman some space to process the information. I felt like a tool. (There’s another flashback from the 90s).
After a couple of hours I’d had enough. I didn’t want anything to stand between us. It was only a mere couple of weeks ago when we were using Facebook to schedule a playdate!
I needed to humble myself to apologize in person (aka over the phone…hey, that’s as close as “in person” as this mom-of-six is gonna get these days!)
So I grabbed my phone and went searching for her actual phone number. Guess what? I. Could. Not. Find. It. Anywhere.
Great. Just great.
So, I messaged a mutual friend who could give me her number and told her to pray for our relationship.
She texted me that she was at a stop light and she’d send me it once she got home…in 20 minutes.
Oh, the horror! The pain of waiting! I wanted it fixed…yesterday!
So, I did the next best thing. I brushed my teeth.
During my waiting for our mutual friend to get home and send me the phone number, my friend messaged me. She admitted that we were both assuming the worst of each other and all was forgiven.
Rule 3: Sometimes there is a time to “call out” someone who has offended you…other times, not so much.
So the moral of the story can be summed up in this verse (emphasis mine):
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not take offense. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. 1 Corinthians 13:5
My goal in talking over my offense with my friend was to seek clarification so as not to ruin my friendship with my own bitterness. This is a Biblical way to deal with someone who has sinned against you (Matthew 18:15-17).
But I think the problem was there was a selfish part of me wanted her understand how I felt. While that’s all fine and dandy, we are called to forgive one another. And maybe if I had waited a week before deciding to talk to her about it, I may not have chosen to do so.
I might have found this verse (emphasis mine):
I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Ephesians 4:1-3
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