Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Freedom to Hurt?

When a kid picks on another kid, we are outraged. Whether it is physical or emotional...spoken or written...we won't stand for it.  Regardless of the place, it is wrong.  It could be in the halls of school, on the playing field, or online.  It makes no difference.  It is hurtful, shameful, and wrong.  

We call it bullying.

But when adults do the same thing to one another, we call it "freedom of speech."  

When we point out other's faults, make people feel small, or complain about how our expectations have not been met, we do so in the name of our collective right to voice our opinions.  

If a server at a restaurant is slow to fill my half-full glass of water, do I really have a right to get on Twitter and trash the establishment?

If a driver pulls out in front of me in a way that causes me to step on my brake pedal with more force than I wanted to use, do I really have cause to speed past him and give him a look to kill?

If someone is posting things on Facebook that makes him seem happier than I think he should be, am I really justified in writing counter-posts so I can wipe the smile off his face?  

What would the average 4th grader say if he could hear, or read, the things we say to and about one another.  Would he say, "Wow!  That's great honesty.  You really exercised the 1st Amendment!"  

Or would he say, "Be careful.  I think that's called bullying."  

Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.  Ephesians 4:29

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