With only one month left to 2015, I can’t help but mull over the previous eleven. Was it a good year? What have I done right? What have I done wrong, and how can I make 2016 better?
A few weeks back, people shared how many hours they spent on Facebook in the past year. I avoided the calculation myself, knowing it was embarrassingly high.
And for what? Is my life better for it, or have I spent more time frustrated and angry rather than joyous?
I fear the former.
The worst part is not how I felt while there, but how I made others feel. Have I brought more laughter and joy, or anger and frustration?
I fear the latter.
I’m not a fan of New Year’s resolutions. If I want or need to make a change, now is better than later. A date shouldn’t determine when I do something good or right.
A few days ago, I engaged in a discussion on a Facebook group with one person, and after a few exchanges another person stepped in and said, “I think you’re talking past each other.”
I stopped and realized he was right. I responded, “That’s what happens when people are more interested in talking and not listening — of which I am as guilty of as anyone.”
All my anger and frustration is the fault of one person. Me. As I considered this, a particular scripture popped into my head:
And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
Since I didn’t know the exact wording of the verse above, I performed a word search. In doing so, I discovered this one:
Remind everyone about these things, and command them in God’s presence to stop fighting over words. Such arguments are useless, and they can ruin those who hear them.
Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth.
Avoid worthless, foolish talk that only leads to more godless behavior.
This kind of talk spreads like cancer, as in the case of Hymenaeus and Philetus.
(2 Timothy 2:14-17)
I’ve been so busy arguing over minutia, I’ve lost sight of the big picture, and my role in the world. My anger and frustration, and making little to no headway in my arguments, should have made me realize much sooner the error of my ways. I am not here to move people to my side of the political or ideological aisle. The world is what it is, and politics is a force in and of itself that no bloviating by me will alter its course. I cannot save this world anymore than an ant can dig an ocean. My job is to explain the word of truth as well as live it. Not argue about it.
It seems that’s all social media does: foster arguments. Starting today, I will no longer participate, especially where politics and current events are concerned (which will only worsen next year due to elections). Imagine the hours I will gain. I will actually have time to catch up on my reading, and my writing. Heck, I may even find motivation to publish something.