Pastor’s eNote: “Unfollow” Toxic Friends

In His sermon (Matthew 7:6), Jesus uses dogs and pigs as representative of those who would ridicule, reject, and blaspheme the gospel once it is presented to them. We are not to expose the gospel of Jesus Christ to those who have no other purpose than to trample it and return to their own evil ways. Repeatedly sharing the gospel with someone who continually scoffs and ridicules Christ is like casting pearls before swine. We can identify such people through discernment, which is given in some measure to all Christians (1 Corinthians 2:15–16).

Discernment extends to all areas of our lives. You do not have to expose the best of you to an audience of social media friends and have some use the opportunity for no other purpose than to trample what deeply matters to you. We must use the gift of discernment to know what feeds us well and what sucks the very life out of us for no good purpose.

I’ve been asked often these last few months what is the “right” thing to do when “friends” posts cause you to pause because they are so mean spirited, sometimes plain evil, that you wonder what on earth they are thinking. Folks, if discernment brings you to know that the social media friendship causes you more harm than good, you have permission to unfollow them. You do not have to expose yourself to the angry, untrue, awful, and sometimes painfully hurtful posts and comments from people in your list called “friends”.

Because…

Friends don’t intentionally seek to hurt, harm, or offend friends.
Friends intentionally seek to inspire, support and affirm you.
Friends want to know you better so they may relate to you more effectively. This is how we create wonderful, lasting relationships offline. And we need to spend more time doing just that. But in this time, it’s harder to do. We need to be more attentive to these online options.

Social media can be a great source of joy and connection. It can also, unfortunately, be a source of tremendous sadness, fear, bullying and pain. The freedom of being alone behind a keyboard in the absence of immediate feedback can serve as an invitation to act out. If the person has made threats of harm and/or may be a danger to self or others, you should contact the appropriate agency to report the behavior. It may be the action that prevents devastation.

Be good to yourself. We have a lot of people working under the most stressful and anxious conditions. When your friends aren’t supporting you and are in fact hurting you, they are not friends.

Healthy boundaries are good! You have permission to unfollow. 📖

If you’d like to join me for a three day online devotion The Calm: Live Each Day in the Calm Amid the Storm, please click here: https://bible.com/p/30453844/8751b9fd3d51331e300ece0a5c168a3e

With hands to the plow,

Pastor Theresa