When did it become acceptable to be so disrespectful?
Regardless of what side you take on a political or social issue, you will find loud statements of disrespect on both sides. Name calling, snide remarks, hate words, slander…all these are weapons in the war of words which society fully engages in day after day. Social media is very anti-social. News is not so much newsworthy as it is opinionated, and those who are privileged with opinion platforms are loud, inappropriately angry, and seethe with disrespect.
What does this do to us as we listen? Do you walk away from these encounters discouraged, defeated, detached, and with your blood pressure elevated? Me, too.
In our Psalm today we are reminded that happiness can’t be found among the disrespectful.
Psalm 1 (Common English Bible)
The truly happy person
doesn’t follow wicked advice,
doesn’t stand on the road of sinners,
and doesn’t sit with the disrespectful.
2 Instead of doing those things,
these persons love the Lord’s Instruction,
and they recite God’s Instruction day and night!
3 They are like a tree replanted by streams of water,
which bears fruit at just the right time
and whose leaves don’t fade.
Whatever they do succeeds.
I have a friend who initially gave up social media for Lent and then decided to stay off due to the constant disrespect he experienced when he expressed his political beliefs. He discovered that his “friends” quickly went on the attack, even if he was trying to respectfully argue a point. I have another friend who is a retired police officer who suffers daily from what he reads on the internet.
I think it is important to remember that the celebrity “news” people and your so-called “friends” on social media platforms are merely dust that blows away. The trick is to not let it get in your eyes as it blows past you. We need to keep clear eyes focused solely on the Lord’s instruction. That helps us to be like trees that are planted by the water that will bear fruit for the kingdom if we focus on keeping the righteous things in the foreground.
4 That’s not true for the wicked!
They are like dust that the wind blows away.
5 And that’s why the wicked will have no standing in the court of justice—
neither will sinners
in the assembly of the righteous.
6 The Lord is intimately acquainted
with the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked is destroyed.
God blesses the righteous with happiness and destroys the disrespectful.
Perhaps we should all closely monitor the things we engage in that are making us unhappy. My guess is that spending less time engaging with angry people will result in feeling more peaceful. Reading God’s word day and night will result in an intimacy with him that brings calm to our hearts.
And thank you so much for reading At Water’s Edge! May you find peace, hope, and contentment today as you carry his word in your heart.