There’s a lot of anger online these days. Derogatory epithets1 getting spat back and forth on some social media give me that impression, anyway.
“15 16 ‘You have heard that it was said to your ancestors, “You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment.”
“17 But I say to you, whoever is angry 18 with his brother will be liable to judgment, and whoever says to his brother, ‘Raqa,’ will be answerable to the Sanhedrin, and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ will be liable to fiery Gehenna.”
I’m pretty sure that the idea in Matthew 5:22 is that verbal abuse is a bad idea, and we shouldn’t do it.
I’ve been having a hard enough time dialing back sarcasm and other impulsive responses I’ve developed, without adding online insults to the mix.
Not so much.
“15 ‘Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You are like whitewashed tombs, which appear beautiful on the outside, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and every kind of filth.
“Even so, on the outside you appear righteous, but inside you are filled with hypocrisy and evildoing.”
I’d like to say that I have achieved perfection; that my every act, word, thought, and impulse reflects nothing but love for God, neighbor, and — you get the picture. That’s not even close to being true.
But if I think I’m a sinner, and don’t ask God to smite offensive folks something fearful, how come I don’t keep quiet about the invective I’ve been seeing?
Forgiving others is important.
I figure that includes trying to do something about less-than-loving behavior.
For someone in my position, that includes suggesting that hurling insults is a bad idea: and acting like I believe it.
“If I say to the wicked man, You shall surely die; and you do not warn him or speak out to dissuade him from his wicked conduct so that he may live: that wicked man shall die for his sin, but I will hold you responsible for his death.”
I think this is good advice, too:
“All bitterness, fury, anger, shouting, and reviling must be removed from you, along with all malice.”
I’m still working on that. Particularly removing the bitterness and anger. And that’s another topic.
More, mostly about acting like love and God matter:
- “Who is My Neighbor?”
(February 1, 2017)
- “Sin, Awareness, Repentance”
(December 4, 2016)
- “Hating People: Not an Option”
(November 15, 2016)
- “The Virtue Trap”
(October 23, 2016)
- “Trusting Feelings: Within Reason”
(October 5, 2016)
“Late 18th century: from French épaulette, diminutive of épaule shoulder, from Latin spatula in the late Latin sense shoulder blade.” (oxforddictionaries.com)
“Late 16th century: from French épithète, or via Latin from Greek epitheton, neuter of epithetos attributed, from epitithenai add, from epi upon + tithenai to place.” (oxforddictionaries.com)