Deleting People Out of our Lives (Or How Facebook Has Taken Us Back to Middle School!)

4 Nov

Ephesians 4:29, “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.”


You guys know me and my way of presenting you with Scripture, ideas related to it, and some conclusions I have made, then . . . standing back and encouraging you to form your own conclusions. 


If you belong to my Saviour, you are perfectly capable of doing that, with or without me along for the ride.  I just like to write and I like to challenge people to keep exercising their critical thinking skills all life long.  At my age, if I stop doing that, I will lose those skills!!!  Ha ha!


So you are used to having a lowkey approach from my keyboard.  Tonight I will change that up a bit.


There is a practice that is going on that is so ungodly and so juvenile that I am going to call it out.  I am going to do that plainly. 


I saw it start among the teens in my life.  Especially the teens on Facebook.  Facebook enabled it initially.  Now it has become an epidemic.


What is worse, the adults who are supposed to set an example for the teens and call them to growth in their walk with Jesus are . . . starting to adopt this ungodly practice.  I have seen it with my own eyes.  


That practice is the use of the delete button and the block button on Facebook and other social media to control other people through fear and other socially manipulative tactics. 


The Lord told us to avoid corrupt communication.  That means we are to exercise sincere communication with each other.  Yet, instead of going to brothers or sisters with whom we have issues that need to be talked out, as the Lord told us to do in Matthew 18, we delete them or block them from our lives, then gossip about them to everyone else. 


This may start out on social media, but by the time it is full blown, it is not just a Facebook issue.  There are people dropping out of other people’s lives without a word to them.  People who have formerly been friends who just stop talking to someone else, with no explanation.  Ungodly stuff that.


I have heard of cases where people moved and, as soon as they were several states away, blocked large numbers of people on Facebook who thought they were their friends.  I can’t imagine what is going on in the mind of someone who would pull a stunt like that.  I don’t know what is in their minds, but I will call it what it is, a huge emotional powerplay over those other people. 


There is no excuse for this.  No excuse that involves sincere Christianity anyway.  If someone wants to admit to being an immature believer who likes to pull stunts for shock value, I will give him points for honesty.


You see, you can’t delete years of friendship with the stroke of a key.  To pretend to do so is to show that you have every intent of wounding the other person in the most childish way you can find.  Your action says, “We may have been friends for a decade or more, but you matter so little to me and the input God has made to my life through you means so little to me that I believe I can hit one key and dislodge it forever from my memory.”  Make no mistake, that is a very cold and calculated move. 


And then no one is content to just hit the delete or block key anyway.  They always have to tell lots of other people about what they have done.  And the quarrels grow and pull in innocent people to choose sides and sharpen their swords (and tongues).


If you are reading this and suspect that you may have done this to others, it is not too late to make it right.  Don’t excuse the inexcusable.  This is an action not even worthy of the critical thinking skills of a preteen.  Don’t be swept into it by your emotions as an adult.


What would God have you to do?  Go talk over your differences with that person.  You may not need to have each other on Facebook, and you may not end up as best friends no matter what you do, but you do need to have a cordial relationship on this earth.  You will dwell in heaven together forever.  Let’s start to get the relationship right while we are here.



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