Friday, January 27, 2012

being "that guy"

i read a lot of news.  a LOT of news.  i probably read more news than any human being should be subjected to.  whether it be world issues, national issues, sports, technology, music, the asteroid that's coming close to earth at 10:25am today (see cnn), or opinion pieces, i have a curiosity that can't be quenched for what is going on in our world.

i also read the comments attached to news stories on the interwebs.  sometimes, people chime in on an oversight in the article or point readers in another direction on a similar subject, but more often than not, the comments feed is nothing more of a battle ground for those who have two radically divergent perspectives on a topic.  

they can get quite passionate about their point of view.  so passionate that it becomes almost poisonous.  sometimes it can be entertaining depending on the topic, but more often than not i find myself getting mad at how polarizing some of these commenters can be.  they're so emotionally attached to what they believe in that their words become weapons.  nouns become bullets.  verbs become daggers.  adjectives become bombs.  all their words crafted together to become an offensive or counter-offensive that have the potential to destroy a person's perspective about life, their country, their heroes, their gadgets they can't leave home without, or anything else that can be held close to the heart.

even in religious articles, men and women engage in a sort of nuclear war about whether it is good or not to have faith.  i don't need to get into great detail here, but the volley back and forth between those who claim to not believe in any god and those who love Jesus are especially infuriating.

and when i read a comment that makes me close to becoming green rage monster angry, it makes me want to comment back to bring civility back to the conversation.  i want to tell atheists that they don't realize they worship what they believe they understand like it is a deity.  i also want to tell fellow Christians to suck it up, take the persecution, stop using the Bible as a weapon, and let the world know that we are Christians by our love for one another and not how literally we believe in our Scripture.

and then i have to stop myself from commenting, because by doing so, i become like them.  i become "that guy".

"that guy" is the person trolling around on message boards making comments that makes another person's blood boil.  i don't want to be "that guy".

"that guy" is the follower in Jesus that makes the effort to post how zealous he is for the Word and his God that he makes a well intentioned comment to an audience who mostly doesn't want to be fed another story about sin and their need for Jesus.  i don't want to be "that guy".

"that guy" is the person who petitions for civility in a public setting so that all our opinions can be heard to the point we make those who exercise their right to basically be jerks to get on their soap box.  i don't want to be "that guy".

and maybe i'm being "that guy" right now with this post.  but if i am going to preach the love of Jesus, i better be filled with so much of His love and His spirit that it overflows on to others.

i also better not judge those who don't believe in Jesus because that's not my job.  and if someone who doesn't believe is convicted of how sin manifests itself in his/her life, i hope that they know that it is the Spirit talking to him/her and convicting him/her.  i just simply want to love on others as we are all called to do.  that is the guy i want to be.  and no amount of posting comments on news sites can ever do that for a population at large that i don't know personally who are deeply passionate in what they believe.

and maybe you're reading this and i don't know you personally.  but i want to get to know you.  i want to know what makes you tick.  i want to know your fears.  i want to know what you keep close to your heart.  i want to know why you are the way you are, and i want to exchange all that with you, because the currency of the Kingdom is the relationships that we have with one another.  i learned that from a friend a few years ago.  you can't learn that from a public posting on the internet, as i have learned from too much reading.

comments from strangers hold no value other than the emotions that are attached to them, which those turn into verbal gunfire and does nothing more than get people riled up.  for all of us, and me especially, there is no substitute than being the guy on the other end of a conversation with real people, listening and loving, and only speaking when it's backed up by how we love.


  1. "because the currency of the Kingdom is the relationships that we have with one another."

    What a fantastic line!

  2. wow... spot on bret! thanks for sharing this!

  3. I object! My opinion is different than you yours (by only the slightest shade of puce) so that makes you my enemy!