Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Does forgiveness = friendship (on Facebook)?
Have you ever been bullied? I was, back in elementary school. Thank God Almighty that it wasn't physical but that whole "sticks and stones" bit was a straight-up LIE! Words did hurt me--to the point where I faked being sick so I could stay home and avoid the verbal thrashing that I knew was waiting for me just about every day. Being taunted and teased by the
mean popular girls can do quite a number on a chubby adolescent girl's self-esteem. But it's only by God's grace that I can look back and say that those emotional scars contributed to making me the woman I am today: poised, outspoken, and yes, even confident.
Fast-forward several years to the present. One of the girls who picked on me has been sending me several friend requests on Facebook. I have absolutely NO idea why so I've ignored them without a second thought. Then recently, she sent me a private message mentioning that she tried to add me a couple of times but I must not have recognized her. *yeah, right* I responded to let her know that I knew who she was and I didn't add her because we were never friends. Yeah, if I see her in public, I would say "Hi" but that's pretty much all I have to say. We never reconciled; she never apologized and I let her know that even though I forgave her for that, we should keep our distance online. But because of a mandate of forgiveness from the lips of Jesus Christ himself, I can honestly say that I no longer hold hate in my heart towards her; or anyone else that used to make my life a [literal] living hell.
This situation makes me stop and ask "Am I obligated to 'friend-up' with this person on Facebook as a demonstration of my forgiveness?" Normally, I would turn to the Bible for help but things get really difficult when there's no entry for social networking in the index. So, that leaves me to read between the lines and look for overarching principles that would apply to my situation. Sounds simple enough, right? Ummm, naw.
*sigh* It's late and I need to get to bed but that's no excuse for procrastinating about seeking the answer to something that may have an impact on my Christian walk--or even on bringing another person to Christ. I'm gonna let this one simmer for a while before I clear my mind enough to objectively dig into the Word for an answer. Shoo, I might even start a series of posts: What the Bible Says About Facebook--nothing! LOL But due diligence is a must 'cause Lord knows Facebook keeps my Christianity interesting... and then some.