I had two posts I wanted to write but then something happened today to tie them together. That means this post will probably be long and maybe convoluted but please stick with me...or not, just don't tell me about it if you don't :-)
Which brings me to my first posting idea. It seems recently I have stumbled upon a number of posts with opinionated comments that are often bordering on rude. I don't mean opinionated about the post topic. Bloggers want their readers to be interested in their posts and offer opinions, even if they are different from their own, especially if politely done. What I am talking about are comments about the blogger herself; her writing style, grammar, even weight! Why do people think that just because they will never meet this person that they can say whatever they want? Some may say that most of the times these people are trolls but just because you give them a cutesy name doesn't hide the fact that it is one person being unkind to another without regard to their feelings. Not cool.
Just this weekend I saw two that caused me to pause for a moment. The first was on a blog that recently got a new banner. Several days after her changeover she posted about modesty. At the bottom of the page there was a comment on how one of the pictures in her new design was immodest (the blogger had already mentioned the pictures and stated that they were stock and not anyone she knew). I was quite curious to see how the blogger would respond so the next time I went to her site, I reviewed that post. I would say that I was pleasantly surprised by her response, but that would be a lie. I have read her for a while so I wasn't really surprised that she replied with the humility and Christ-like kindness that she did. I guess I would say I was "pleasantly-not surprised". She even asked the commenter what particularly she disliked and the commenter told her. Reading both comments the commenter left, it was obvious that she said what she did in a loving way and not intending to be critical so with both the commenter and the blogger attitudes being what they were, the exchange didn't become heated as I have seen before. But I still disagree with the commenter. Obviously the blogger was concerned with modesty because she posted about it and since the banner is new she has seen those pictures and approved them. So one can assume she just has different standards than the commenter and I think the commenter should have just accepted that. And maybe if she did really feel the need to say something, a private email would have been a better approach.
The second situation was just a comment saying your grammar is distracting from your message and makes your blog hard to read. It also included a specific examples that was pretty petty, almost the equivalent of saying someone used "who" when they should have used "whom." The one amusing part of the comment was when they meant to say "if you care about your blog..." but instead said "if you car about your blog..." Maybe that person should be taking the plank out of their own eye first.
And that plank idea brings me two my second point. While "blog hopping" a few days ago I stumbled upon this article. For those of you non-link clickers (and I confess I am often one of those myself), I will summarize. It pretty much says to let your husband handle his own issues with criticism; be a good listener, but don't try to fight his battles for him. While reading it I found myself nodding in agreement and thinking of how I was so glad that I didn't struggle with this. I just couldn't think of a time when I felt the need to "stick up" for Craig instead of letting him handle it himself.
I'm guessing you can tell where this is going but today when reading the other blog Craig comments on, I noticed someone left a kinda rude comment criticizing Craig. Within seconds I was livid. I mean, I was like a mommy bear whose cub had been teased. But then I thought of that article and the first situation where a gentle response turned away wrath and I stopped in my tracks.
Did Craig need me to come to his defense? No, he isn't my baby cub, but a "big boy" who can deal with this himself. And even if he did get his affirmation from blog readers, he would know that while many don't agree with him, they do respect him.
Did other readers need me to respond in order to know the truth? No, they probably saw that comment the same way I saw the other comments, as a reflection of the commenter more than the blogger himself.
And with that I was able to let it go and not call this person all the mean (and very witty I might add) names that I had previously come up with. Now I don't think it is a coincidence that I happened to see that first comment exchange or that I stumbled upon that article. Isn't it so great that God knew that would be a struggle for me today so he led me to those things so that I would be better equipped to deal with it. Some people's think of God and His laws as a big set up to get them to fail but that couldn't be further from the truth! God doesn't want anything to get in the way of our relationship and sin does that. He wants so much for us to do the right thing and I'm so thankful he helps us with our struggles.
I guess my point is twofold:
1) To the commenters out there, keep in mind one of my mother's favorite quotes (aka - Thumper's rule), if you can't say something nice, don't say nothing at all.
2) God is so good.