Dismantle the Rant
In my last post I talked about the pitfalls of the micro-rant - the social media post meant to burn a particular person or people. I talked about the problem and here are my thoughts on solutions.
Note that I have said nothing about what the other person should do. The other person cannot be forced into action, but you can make the choice today to act and live differently. In time, as you live your life in a way which honors Jesus, it will change the climate of your relationships.
Here are some starting points:
1. Give it to Jesus. “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28-30
We are most prone to a micro-rant or any anger with others when we have not been resting in Jesus. He wants all of us all the time. When we put our hope in people, we will be disappointed. Their failure to live up to our expectations is frustrating. Instead of ranting, we go to Jesus and put our hope in Him because He will never fail us. He will give us peace beyond our understanding.
2. Go to a Jesus-loving friend for counsel. “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” James 5:16
When we get this worked up over something we have lost our practical trust in Jesus. No amount of lip-service about loving God can defend your actions. Our trust in others for our happiness is idolatry and we need to confess. When we admit our struggle to other people who love Jesus, we can heal. Spend time praying for that person and for yourself. Don’t let a frustration derail your journey with Jesus.
If you are taking your problems to social media, you are looking for validation from others. Your validation should come from Jesus. If Jesus would not validate your attitude - it is wrong. A Jesus-loving friend will be able to speak wisdom and truth into the situation where you are unable see clearly.
3. Speak life over them. Your words have power. They have the power to give life and the power to destroy. If all you do is destroy another, they will react in kind. If you speak life over them, it may take a while but they will come alive. Finding the best in people and making it the focus of your thoughts and words. You will find your heart change toward them.
“Do not repay evil for evil or insult with insult. On the contrary repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.” 1 Peter 3:9
Lastly, we are called to something greater. We need to live lives that are exemplary. The apostle Peter said: “Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day He visits us.”
Ask yourself, will others praise God for the life I have lived? Or will they forget it because it looked the same as everyone elses?
You were blessed to be a blessing…so get to blessing others.
It’s heartbreaking. Every time I see it I cringe and my stomach turns, sometimes I can stop the carnage, other times I am helpless to do anything but pray.
Micro-rant-noun-a sentence or two posted on Facebook, Twitter, or other social media regarding volatile subjects better kept private. Usually between family members or friends.
I get it, I really do. There have been days when I am so frustrated with my situation that I want everyone to know-especially the person who wronged me. I’ll even admit that there have been times when I have typed out a justifiable declaration, but then hit delete.
Why? As Christians, we should avoid the micro-rant because:
1. It’s awkward. Have you ever been in a situation where someone says
something that doesn’t quite fit the moment?
Imagine this: We are staring at the sky talking about the beauty of the sunset, being drawn into a place of awe and worship.
Then out of nowhere someone in our group begins relating gruesome details about last night’s episode of the Walking Dead. Listen, I enjoy hearing about that stuff, but it’s a buzzkill and very…well…awkward.
2. It’s harmful. On a more serious note there are two people who suffer when we rant. First is ourselves. Think about this for a moment. Imagine you and I are friends then one day I see you bringing your private life in full view of social media. To me, you have just become untrustworthy. I will hold back from sharing my heart with you because I fear that if you were able to easily post about your private life then my private information will be fair game for you as well.
As a result of this lack of trust (one of the building blocks of friendship), you and I grow apart and you are hurt because of it. It’s not that I don’t like you, I am just afraid.
The second group to suffer is others. Your friends, siblings, spouses, and children, do not want the world to know their business. It’s personal and embarrassing. As believers, we need to value others more than we value ourselves. The Apostle Paul says to the Christians in Philippi: Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others. ~Philippians 2:3-4
The micro-rant is the opposite of selflessness. It is selfish and self-serving. Jesus never acted in self-service but in submission and love of God and others.
3. It does not solve the problem. The purpose of the micro-rant is to burn, scald, belittle-and maybe even a touch of revenge. It is also meant to push someone hard enough so maybe they will do what we want. We think the problem will be solved. Never in my life have I seen or heard someone say, “Wow, they came at me with such force and volatility that I said, boy, you’re right-I’ll change my ways.” That is what we are hoping for, but it is never what we get.
4. It creates more problems. The root of all sin is pride. Pride says, “I’m right, and you’re wrong.” So whenever you micro-rant, you are not putting someone in their place, but egging them into battle. Some people roll over and surrender, others fight back. Both of these create problems of distrust, fear, hurt, sadness and so on. None of this is of honors Jesus who calls us to love our neighbor as part of our devotion to Him.
There are better ways to communicate frustration and handle our anger. If our desire is to love and honor God then we must find different ways of handling this. Whenever I identify a problem I like to offer a solution. In my next post I will be offering some useful solutions.