Words…

Have you noticed that there’s been a war of words, especially on Facebook?

Granted Facebook isn’t REALLY our personal space….

but it feels personal to me.

It’s where I keep up with my nieces… one lives in Connecticut and the other in Arizona.

It’s where I keep up with the friends I’ve made in New York, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and beyond.

It’s also a work space for me… there are the blogging groups I belong to and there’s my biz page for my blog, too.

 

Shining the LIGHT with our words - Lake Michigan Lighthouse after sunset - AnExtraordinaryDay.net

 

Words, memes, and other images have invaded the space where I usually I look forward to seeing new baby photos and garden pics and engagement photos. And some of these dear people have added their political views to the happy mix of photos.

For me… Facebook and social media, for the most part, is a good thing.

For me… not so much for my husband.

He has a brother that was an unexpected blessing to his parents.  So unexpected that his mom was pregnant with him at our wedding.

We moved away when he was in middle school, so until he got on Facebook, we really never knew his philosophical, religious, and political ideologies.  Many times during the week he will post memes or songs or other philosophical or political ideas, and on rare occasion, a photo of his kids.  He’s strongly opinionated. My husband enjoyed engaging with him on Facebook.  Often from an opposing point of view.  It seemed they both enjoyed the banter.  In fact, on one occasion, he mentioned to a friend that he liked to post some things that were “out there” in hopes of getting the ire of his older brother.

And then, two things happened.  First, we heard from his mom that he felt put down.  Now my husband would never put down his brother… but we can never control how another person will feel or respond.  We both felt bad about that.  However, they continued their exchanges on Facebook as usual, and then one day, his brother unfriended him. We haven’t seen him since, but will over the holidays.

Will it be awkward?  Will they even talk about it?  It remains to be seen.

Since then, I have been mostly careful to not engage in exchanges with friends who have differing opinions.  I just don’t know how they will take what I say… even if I mean well.  After all, what will be gained if I do share my two cents?  From my perspective now… there’s little to be gained and much to be lost.

Times are changing.  The changes used to seem gradual, but it’s as if someone hit the accelerator button.  Our world seems to be getting increasingly darker.

That’s why we who are people of the Light need to be actively shining The Light in our dark world.

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.
John 1:5

We never have to worry that we will be overcome by the darkness. Never.

But, we do need to concern ourselves with shining the light.

 

You are the light that gives light to the world - scripture verse from Matthew 5 - Beautiful lighthouse at sunset image with scripture from AnExtraordinaryDay.net

Jesus said, “You are the light that gives light to the world.”
Matthew 5:14

How can we shine the light on social media?

I encourage you to pray and ask God to show you how you can do that in your own unique and natural way.

What I can do, is tell you what I do. 

As you know I have a Facebook page for the blog.  There, you will find a daily Good Morning greeting to start the day and a Sweet Dreams post to end the day.  Each of those has a pretty picture and a scripture with an encouragement or blessing.  This has become a daily discipline for me… and readers have responded with gratitude, often mentioning that a particular post was perfectly timed for them.

Additionally, I look for ways to respond positively to others’ Facebook posts with words of encouragement and sometimes prayer. And if you follow me on Instagram, you will find mostly nature photos with uplifting thoughts and occasionally scriptures. I want to give someone who visits there a moment of peace and beauty.  These are small ways that I try to shine the light.

Jesus also said, “If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.”
John 8:12

You will have the light that leads to life.

When we shine our lights on Facebook or in the world we aren’t shining any common ordinary LED light.  We are shining a living light.  We are shining Hope and Love and Peace.

 

Pin it! And JOIN the #BeTheLightChallenge

 

I joined up with a group of bloggers to shine our lights on social media and we would love for you to join us for the #bethelightchallenge.

Are you in?  Please let me know here and then join our Facebook group #bethelightchallenge

Throughout the challenge, please be sure to drop by the following spots for more light shining ideas… 

Salvage Sister & Mister on Day 1
11 Magnolia Lane  on Day 2
An Extraordinary Day on Day 3
Plum Doodles on Day 4
Blessed Lonestar Mess on Day 5
At the Picket Fence on Day 6
Real Girl’s Realm on Day 7
The Homemakers Journal on Day 8

In the days leading up to the election, we are sharing tips on how to navigate these challenging and dark days with love and grace.

What if we could see people the way Jesus sees them?

If we had the eyes of Jesus, we would see that each person we meet is in need of encouragement. Some just need a tiny bit of encouragement.  Others may be living on fumes and need much more.  On or off social media we can shine the living light of Jesus into those we encounter each day by being purposeful encouragers… breathing life and light into their weary lives.

One of my more Googled posts isn’t a home decor post, it’s 52 Thoughtful and Practical Ways to Encourage Others. There I give a year’s worth of ideas for encouraging others.  One for every week of the year.  You may want to bookmark that post and use it as a handy reference for doing some practical and even fun light shining.

 

52 Practical and Thoughtful Ways to Encourage Others from AnExtraordinaryDay.net52 Thoughtful and Practical Ways to Encourage Others

 

As wonderful as light shining is… if we don’t fuel our lights and recharge them from their original source… our lights will be dim. Be sure to fill up each day on God’s word and enter His presence through worship and prayer. If this is something you aren’t in a habit of doing, go to First15.org. Better yet, sign up for a daily email.  You’ll receive scripture, a music worship video, a devotional meditation, and a guided prayer to your inbox every day.  That way your light will shine brightly for all to see.

 

Download these FREE Printables and slip them in a frame to encourage you to shine the light…

Be Encouraging Quote & FREE Printable AnExtraordinaryDay.netBe Encouraging FREE 5×7 Printable

 

Martin Luther King Jr. QUOTE from AnExtraordinaryDay.net Only Light…. FREE 8×10 Printable

 

Words… 

Social media doesn’t have to be a place where there is a war of words… even in the midst of an election.

Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.
Ephesians 4:29

Pleasant words are like a honeycomb:
they drip sweet food for life and bring health to the body.
Proverbs 16:24

 

May you shine the light with your words… to give help, encouragement, life, and health to all who read and hear them.

Wishing you... An Extraordinary Day!

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Comments

  1. So very true. We never are quite sure how our words will be taken. Hopefully they can make amends. Slow to speak (or type) can be so hard to do but so important. Great printables!

  2. Your story is one reason I dislike FB. It is so easy to hurt people feelings based on how you respond to posts. Thank you for sharing your story and the free printables!

    • And emails can cause the same issue, Mary. We know what we’re thinking and what we mean, and someone else can misconstrue our thoughts and intentions because of their current mood, situation, or even through misreading. Thanks for popping by and for your thoughts. Have a wonderful weekend!

  3. Thank you so much for your thoughtful post! I’ve made it a policy to keep my political views to myself — it’s between me and the ballot. I stay well-informed and I certainly have an opinion, but I value relationships too much to make this an issue! I don’t mind if people post a respectful reasoned opinion on either side whether I agree or not. Like you I have learned from these — at the very least I can understand the other persons side better although I never respond or react to any of them. The “friends” I hide are those who repeatedly post rants based on fear, hate and misinformation that are cut and pasted from some sketchy source. I don’t want the negativity and it is not illuminating to the issues or the candidate’s vision for governing. Personally, I am campaigning for a six month campaign season — two years is WAY too long! 🙂

    • Oh, Charlene, our campaign season IS way too long. The Brits have an incredibly short one. Seems like a good idea, doesn’t it.
      It’s so nice to “see” you Charlene. I haven’t been very social recently. 🙁 Thanks for taking the time to ‘visit.’

  4. Diane, that is such a great point that we can’t know how people will construe our words. They can’t see the expression that clarifies the meaning of the words.

  5. My husband stays off of FB as well. I on the other hand have been very mindful of how I navigate through the nuances of it all. I enjoy staying connected, but I am cautious and post only things that are uplifting and encouraging. I have no desire to get into a confrontation and that is very easy to do anywhere on social media as people do not really “hear,” what we are saying. I guard my heart and soul closely.
    Thank you for your beautiful encouragement and blessings of friendship.
    Jemma

  6. Politics and Facebook! It is sometimes difficult to read what my polar opposite friends are saying on FB and I have to deliverately choose to skip likeing or commenting. We really need to have friends who aren’t just like us so that we can be salt and light to them but, WOW, it is sometimes hard to find anything to affirm, especially in the current political climate. God just has to help me with that. 🙂 I pray that I will see beyond their different belief systems to who they really are and find something positive to speak into their lives. Lord help me!
    Thanks for spreading the light along with this great lineup of lovely ladies 🙂
    Love and hugs to you my friend <3

    • And since you’ve responded to the post, Patti, oh my! Things have really become ‘hot.’ It really does take prayerful self-control to navigate the waters these days. Our leaders and country need prayer like never before. Keep shining brightly my friend. Your light is truly lovely. {{hugs}}

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