Your Character Is Showing: Maintaining a Testimony Online

Sometimes, when I am engaged in internet conversations, especially when another believer is attacking me for my beliefs, I feel like saying, “Your character is showing.”

In the last week, I have had multiple such experiences –this is interesting since I actually try to avoid online debates.

Some conversations have been godly and edifying.

Others… not so much.

How you handle a disagreement tells a lot about who you are as a person, as a Christian.

Do you attack the person who disagrees with you?

Do you take low blows, by insulting the other person rather than actually trying to help the person spiritually?

Are you more concerned about proving that you’re right than being loving and kind?

I have heard some people argue that Jesus offended people. While that is true, He had an advantage we don’t have: He could see their hearts.

Getting nasty actually detracts from your argument, but, more importantly, it detracts from your testimony.

We are to be kind in all things.

If the person isn’t saved?

Be kind!

If the person is saved?

Be kind!

See this chart for bible references.

Your character shows– either to your credit or disgrace.

How are you representing Jesus?

Would He be proud of your conversation?

Here are some verses that speak to this point, unless –like one lady I spoke to– you don’t believe that anything written by Paul was inspired by God. If you choose to reject the parts of the bible you don’t like, I am afraid we don’t have a foundation for a conversation about what is expected of believers.



Colossians 4:5
Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside [ie: unbelievers], redeeming the time. 6 Let your speech always be with grace [ie: unearned kindness], seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.

Ephesians 4:32
And be ye kind one to another [ie: believers], tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.


We should be different than the world and interact differently than they interact.


Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Romans 12:2


Your character is showing!

Every time you open your mouth or type a sentence, you are showing the kind of person you are and if you really have godly character.


And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus,giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Colossians 3:17


What are you communicating about yourself online?

Is it worthy of a child of God?


I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,

Ephesians 4:1-2


Would He be pleased about how you show Him to the world?  

If you win the argument but ruin your testimony, you have actually lost.

If you can not engage in controversial conversations and still maintain your testimony, then don’t engage in those conversations.

Jesus had some pretty extreme things to say about what to do if parts of your body cause you to sin. He didn’t mean literally cut it out. He was saying this to make a point.


If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.

Matt 5:29-30


Sometimes it is wiser to simply not engage at all.

This is especially true if the person is not interested in listening to the truth.


 

Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you yourself will be just like him.

Proverbs 26:4

A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.

Proverbs 18:2

A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back.

Proverbs 29:11

If a wise man has an argument with a fool, the fool only rages and laughs, and there is no quiet.

Proverbs 29:9

A fool’s mouth is his ruin, and his lips are a snare to his soul.

Proverbs 18:7


May we honor God with our lives in everything we do. It starts with the choices we make every day.

Blessings,

Sarah Forbes

Originally from a 2014 Facebook post

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