Thursday, October 27, 2011

If You Can't Say Something Nice...

Today's post is brought to you by: 

1) Advice from my mama
2) The movie Bambi
3) My personal life frustrations 

Quite a list huh? This should be interesting. 

Ok, we all have to admit we get frustrated. Annoyed. Ticked off. Irked. Fired up. Angry. It happens-- it's a part of life. The triggers for these things cover the entire gamut: family, jobs, kids, church, pets, laundry, businesses, customer service, traffic etc. For me, especially this week, it has been a combination of my masters homework, miscommunication and the United States Army. 

The combination of some slightly icky assignments from school in my LAST first week of my masters program (yay!) coupled with some crossed wire of communication with my honey as well as some scheduling challenges from the army have falling in the category of frustrating, annoying, anger-inducing... well you get my drift. I was upset. ARGH. 

But the question is: What do we do with those feelings and frustrations when they surface? Unfortunately, some folks choose to blow it out of proportion... and make it a public drama. In one word: Facebook. (Disclaimer: this post might turn into a soapbox post... or more appropriately based on my vocation, "preaching.") 

Social media is no place to air the dirty laundry, profanities and unfiltered anger we experience. When these challenging experiences hit me square in the face, my first urge literally was to Tweet about it and post on Facebook. What the heck? How did I get wired THAT way?? I had some great snarky, sarcastic ideas planned to give the offending parties a piece of my mind for all the digital world to see. But I have made it a personal policy NOT to be intentionally negative. No matter HOW fired up I am. 

This is where the lesson from my Mama and the movie "Bambi" comes in... take the great words of Thumper the baby rabbit... (Check out the youtube link here for a lil blast of childhood past.) 


I had that little animated advice circling in my brain for days. I thought to myself "If I post this snarky message on Facebook, what good is it going to do? It's going to make me feel better for about 10 seconds... but it won't encourage anyone. It won't highlight the love of God." So I didn't post my grumbly thoughts. Instead, I took the advice of Thumper... and stayed silent. 

Now I'm not saying that you have to keep your personal life under lock and key, guarded with no hope of help from the outside. No, no, no. We all have to vent. But doing it on Facebook probably isn't the most productive (or safe OR productive) place to do it. Even when I am feeling down, I still try to post something that might lift others (self included) up, like an encouraging Scripture or even asking others to pray for me. 

Instead of Facebooking our issues, why don't we just FACE it head on? Take it up with someone who can handle it... God, perhaps? He is a big boy and can handle our anger, frustrations, annoyance etc. I sometimes have to beg Him to change my attitude towards the whole situation and release me from my selfish, sinful heart that is only seeing the here and now problems and not the there and later awesome potential. 

It says in Ecclesiastes 7:8-9 "The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride. Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools." I don't know about you, but I would rather not be known as a fool... and don't really need extra stuff in my lap. 

Next time Satan is in your grill, urging you to spread HIS messages of frustration, selfishness, sin, anger, annoyance, to the world take it up with God instead of ALL your friends on Facebook and ALL your followers on Twitter. Instead, ask your friends on Facebook to pray for you. Choose those who you vent to wisely-- like a close friend, parent, puppy, or even that discount punching bag in the garage. 

Don't be known as a "fool" or bring others down... be real with the world, but ask God what you should do about it first. When it comes to publicly venting, remember to take the advice of Thumper... "If you can't say something nice... don't say nothing at all!" 

Forgoing Facebook Frustration, 


"A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control." -- Proverbs 29:11

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