I haven’t always done a good job of listening to wise counsel. I feel like I’m pretty good at being teachable, but sometimes the wise counsel given to me goes unheeded.
For a couple of years my pastor has attempted to warn and guide me with regards to how I approach social media engagement. It was never about being engaged, as both he and I see social media as a platform for teaching and engaging social issues, but more so in HOW I engaged on social media.
Over the last couple of years I know that I’ve managed to make a few people mad at me, maybe even caused some people to leave our church because of my words. I even squeaked out a public apology for having hurt people over the years with my words via social media. (you can see that HERE)
But, I still felt, in some ways, that I was not the problem here…but rather how people chose to receive my words. Unfortunately for me and my family, my denial of my faults and my continued rejection of wise counsel came to a head on October 31st, 2017. What a day…Halloween.
The result? My company fired me for a comment I had made on a post of a university that also just happened to be a client of ours. To be clear, my profile made no connection to my employer, nor did my post…but somehow this university tracked me down and connected me to my employer, filed a complaint, and I was let go without remorse, severance, or a chance to address the accusations.
I sit here today an unemployed husband and father of 4 kids. Nearly 2 weeks ago I was a broken, angry, somewhat depressed and confused man. But today, I have clarity, and my brokenness and anger has turned to remorse and a renewed determination to be a better man in this area of my life.
Thankfully, when I told my pastor what happened and why it happened, he didn’t look at me and go, “I told you so! But no…you wouldn’t listen. You got what you deserved.” No, instead, he showed me grace and patience, prayed with me, counseled me, hugged me, and encouraged me to learn from this moment.
I am determined to.
My wife, surprisingly, begged me not to allow this incident to impact my social media engagement. She reminded me that a voice of truth is still needed to speak into this sphere of society. It just needs to be from a better spirit. I don’t hate people, but sometimes my words seem to give the impression that I do.
Have I done more harm for the kingdom than good? Perhaps. I certainly hope not. That was definitely never my intention. And as I mentioned, I’ve already apologized before about this area in my life, yet here I am again. I think this time is different though. This time my words came back on my entire household. And as a husband and father, I cannot allow that to happen ever again. At least not because of the spirit of my words.
So, I just want to end with this prayer…and perhaps you might be willing to pray these words for me as well? God knows I need it!
Soften my words but not the truth on my lips. Help me speak truth in a way that does not dishonor You, but brings You honor and makes Your name great. Help me be Your voice to this lost and dying world. A voice that brings life and not death. A prophetic voice. But an empathetic voice. Develop in me Your wisdom. Stay my typing fingers and my lips before the foolish that I may not return folly with folly. Empower me to speak in Your authority, and in Your power, and in Your character.