Am I Responsible for What Others Say?

I am grieved by a trend I keep seeing on social media.

Someone posts what they are feeling, how they are hurt or disappointed or sad. Which is acceptable to post, but they go a step farther to state a “fact” about someone else, something that may or may not be completely accurate, something that is definitely not complementary or kind.

Expressing on social media your frustration, disappointment, or pain is fine, but including another person as part of the cause is not. If we are offended or hurt by someone, posting about it is not the right way to handle it; talking with them is. Or take it to the Lord in prayer. Maybe they aren’t the ones who were wrong.

When this happens, when we post how someone hurt us one social media, other friends comment. The comments turn into bashing those we blamed for our hurt feelings in the original post. Those who comment begin to express ugly things, maybe even calling names. Or an argument begins and people get offended or hurt. Slander and gossip ensue.

This may not have been the intent of the original post, but it’s what the thread has become: An avenue to express negative and ugly things about others.

This makes me sad. Very sad.

Especially when the original poster is someone I respect and care about…when I know her heart would never be to slander others. Yet her post has become just that by allowing the ugly comments to remain.

Please my friends, remember that social media is public. Even on your private Facebook page. Others see it.

Don’t slander others on social media. Don’t gossip.

Don’t believe the lie that’s it okay to publicly say ugly things about others if they are true. Or if you believe them to be true.

Don’t allow others to slander or gossip on your social media profiles or posts.

Yes, you are responsible for what others say on your posts.

If hateful or slanderous things are said in thread on your post – on your page – you are responsible.

If others gossip in comments on your post, you are responsible.

You can delete those comments.

You can kindly state that you don’t want to be party of slander or gossip.

You can say something like, “I deleted your comment because I don’t think it’s appropriate. Thank you for understanding.”

By leaving the comments unanswered on your page you appear to approve them. You have become a party to the slander, the gossip, or the hate by allowing it to stand.

As Christians, we are held to a higher standard.

Not “Is it true?”

But “Is it giving grace to those who hear?”

What might happen if we encourage others to be more responsible with social media?

A couple of months ago I talked to one of my young friends about something she’d said. Something she’d posted. I gently pointed out she’d open a door for people to gossip. The thread had become ugly. It was not her original intent, but the post had become an open forum for slander and gossip.

When we talked, she saw it. She saw she needed to delete some comments. She told me later God had been dealing with her on the same topic. He’s been showing her how to handle it differently. It was beautiful. Her words were, “Thank for being firm and gentle.”

I wrote my thoughts on how we must do better in handling our social media pages. How we are responsible for what others write on our pages. I wrote this article because I’d seen one young mom take the advice to heart. I’d seen her change. It was beautiful.

8 thoughts on “Am I Responsible for What Others Say?

  1. I totally agree with you. We do have that power and supposed to have the knowledge as we grow to make the right choices. My preacher said something that has stuck with me “we shouldn’t expect worldly people to act like Christians.” We shouldn’t, but we don’t have to allow gossip or negativity on our social media. We have to be a light and in doing so we have to be gentle and loving. I liked your question and seriously what would the world be like if those who spent all that effort to be negative and ugly even made half the effort to bring happiness, peace, love, OH … what kind of difference would it make!! Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I believe we have an obligation to monitor our social media and to not leave ugly posts just hanging there for others to read. If someone said such things in my home, I would politely ask them to stop. I should do the same on my social media. It reflects to others my values.

      Like

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