Cutting Ties

I’ve purposely de-friended and un-followed a few of my online connections recently. Have you ever done that?

It’s difficult. I don’t want to offend or hurt anyone’s feelings. These folks weren’t being overtly profane or abusive. I’m just taking a little of my own advice (What Do You Think About?)

In response to that post, a reader reminded me of the beautiful paraphrased version of Philippians 4:8 from The Message:

Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.

“You’ll do your best…”

After  thinking about those words, I decided I don’t want to read a diet of critical political rants and other negative comments. There’s enough of that stuff without voluntarily subjecting myself to it in a social setting. So I chose to step away from those who insist on posting a stream of anger and criticism.

One person requested a reason. I explained as graciously as possible, and he accused me of trying to stifle free speech.

I think there’s a difference between suppressing speech and establishing personal boundaries. My former connection has every right to post whatever he chooses. I have an obligation to intentionally select what I read, watch, and listen to.

I always want to respect and listen to other points of view, even those find disagreeable or distasteful, when they’re expressed appropriately. I think it’s dangerous to live in a protective bubble that isolates me from other perspectives.

But each of us has an obligation to guard our hearts and minds.

Thoughts and attitudes are shaped by what we focus on. I’m just trying to move a bit closer to true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, the beautiful, and things to praise.

You?

How do you filter your online inputs?

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