I was scrolling through my social media feed recently when, yet again, I came across some very hurtful comments.
I am shocked at how mean people can be. There are stories so heartbreaking they bring tears to our eyes, but the name-calling and blaming and judging still abound. People have a sense of security as they type mean comments from behind their computer screens and phones.
But where is the kindness? Where is the compassion?
The truth is we all have stuff going on in our lives that you can’t see on social media. We all have trials, pain, and struggles. Loss and grief happen to everyone, and we all make mistakes. That doesn’t mean we have to openly share about all these things across social media for everyone to see.
People share their best moments, their happiest moments, their prettiest moments on social media. That doesn’t mean they all have perfect, happy, pretty lives all the time. Social media is carefully edited, so just because we don’t see something doesn’t mean it isn’t part of their lives.
No one is social-media perfect. We can never know another’s struggles by scrolling through their highlights because there is a real person with a real story behind those posts, pins, and photos. A real story that involves difficulty, worries, flaws, brokenness, and scars.
Things aren’t always what they seem, but we see things and judge. We see things and jump to conclusions.
But the truth is that we’re all in the same boat. We are all on a journey that at some point in time will take us through pain. We all struggle in some way, and we don’t know what God has asked anyone else to walk through by simply looking at what they post.
I want to encourage you to look beyond what you see on the screen.
Among the many people you scroll through, someone may very well be in the midst of chaos and pain. Someone may have lost their job and may not know how they will pay the rent. Someone’s loved one may have just been diagnosed with cancer, or someone may have lost a child. We don’t know what everyone’s story is, so be kind. Be compassionate.
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
Ephesians 4:32 (NIV)
Let us freely share kind words, love, and encouragement. Let us be quick to uplift and encourage, rather than assume and envy.
When I admire someone, it isn’t because they have everything so easy in life. It is because they have struggled through, they have endured trials, and they have persevered. Those are the things we need to acknowledge in one another. We need to say the words — verbal and written — that will build each other up.
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
Ephesians 4:29 (NIV)
The path God has us on looks different for each of us, but we are all on this journey of life together. None of us are perfect. None of us have the best, happiest life. There is no room to cast judgments because life is hard enough, and we are all trying to do our best.
Let us walk alongside one another, lifting one another up along the way with love and kindness.