Responding with Grace

This post all started when a woman posted an article stating her conviction about wearing yoga pants in public. Of course, anything that's posted online that is remotely controversial will get backlash, so in a sense, the lady did set herself up for all sorts of responses. But that's the thing: many comments were mean, hurtful, and downright inappropriate.

This isn't the only instance where someone was bashed for her own opinion. The Duggars get backlash all the time. When it comes to their choice of clothing, either they're too frumpy and conservative or they're becoming "risque." (Yes-- I just read an article that analyzed Anna Duggar's dress at a recent convention because it was just above her knees.) When it came to Jill Duggar announcing her pregnancy at five weeks, everyone freaked out because they felt she announced it too early. When Josie Duggar was born, people judged the family for having one too many kids.

Candace Cameron Bure was under fire a year ago for using the term "submissive." And for the next several months, Candace had to defend and re-explain what she meant by being a "submissive wife." And, she still got horrible comments about being an oppressed woman and how she was blindly following her man's lead.

The biggest thing that bothers me is that many times, I'll read through the comments and see so many negative and degrading comments. I mean, others are trashing these people's character and that is downright wrong.

Why can we not answer and respond to each other graciously and civilly?

Sometimes, I hate the internet. A lot of nasty comments are written down by cowards hiding behind their comuters. I guarantee you, people would never respond in such a way to a person's face. The cyberbullying that goes on is awful. The worst thing is, people feel that they can get away with it because the person they're bullying is someone over the internet who they will probably never face or meet. There have been so many negative and harsh responses to anyone and everyone. Calling someone names is inappropriate. Cursing someone out because she doesn't share your same opinion is inappropriate. Honestly, if you don't have something nice to say, then don't say it at all. Don't tear someone's character down because she believes something different than you do. So much for "No Hate."

I don't know what your convictions are and frankly, you don't know what mine are. We don't know how each others convictions came to be and that's fine. When a person has a conviction on something, that is solely the responsibility of that person. We all may not agree with each other, but we should at least be respectful of each others opinions and convictions.

I believe that we can make a change by starting to respond with grace.

1) Listen
Rather than immediately shooting someone down for an opinion that is different than yours, listen to their side. You may never agree with what they are saying, but you will at least learn something new.

2) Learn
Learn to understand both sides of an issue. Sometimes, it's easy to get wrapped up in our side of the argument. But at the same time, we don't always understand the opposing argument. Why not take the opportunity to learn what the opposing side is saying? To take a stance on something, you should be well-rounded in that category.

3) Love.
There will be times where you'll need to give your opinion, but learn how to speak the truth in love. I'm not saying to be patronizing to the other opinion. If you have an opinion, then give it but know that yelling, fighting, cursing, and demeaning another will get you nowhere. No one wants to listen to that and no one wants to be hurt.

4) Let it go.
Finally, even if you think you're right and can prove it with every fiber of your being, don't. If you've laid out the facts, and they still don't agree with you, then so be it. One day, the truth will set us free.

As Christians, we need to be the first to learn how to respond with grace. The world is watching us in order to attack us. If we respond like the world, then we are no better than the world. But, if we learn to respond with grace, we can be a light to others and be a light for Jesus.