One of my goals for this year is to not engage in debate on any Facebook thread that is not mine. I will not be offering opposing arguments on anyone else's thread unless the original poster invites me in. This may sound like a simple goal. To some it may sound like a silly goal. But my mind is easily engaged by thought-provoking conversation, or statements that scream for push-back. I am the proverbial moth drawn to the real flame.
So I am withdrawing from this strangely enjoyable practice for three specific reasons...
1 - Honoring people is more desirable than haranguing people. It isn't that there isn't truth. It isn't that there aren't better ideas. It isn't that I'm not right. It isn't that my friend isn't wrong. But it is that I need to be respectful of others, and their space. You FB is your space. And I don't want you rolling your eyes every time you see a notification alerting you that "David Wesley Gould commented on your post." ("Whatever you want others to do for you, do also the same for them - this is the Law and the Prophets." Matthew 7:12)
2 - I need to rein myself in. I think I have pretty sound ideas on many subjects. I think I can defend my position in a way that is both intelligent and passionate. I don't use vulgar words to make my point. I don't berate people (unless they get nasty.) I think I am fairly focused and fair in debate. But because of these things, pride has a chance to guide me... and guide me away from the very relationship principles I mentioned in the previous point. I don't need to be puffed up. So if I muzzle myself, no one else will have to. ("Do nothing out of selfish ambition, rivalry, or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves." Philippians 2:3)
3 - I need to get that part of my life back. I actually enjoy discussing things. But as they say, "There isn't enough time in the day..." Only one person can give me more time... and that's me. Part of how I do that is by not getting embroiled in debates... some of which are good, but many of which are often fruitless. ("Pay careful attention, then, to how you walk - not as unwise people but as wise - making the most of the time, because the days are evil." Ephesians 5:16-17)
So there you go. If you are one of the ones I enjoy debating, you can breathe easily this year. I would appreciate it if you would make it easier on me by not posting anything controversial or challenging. ;)
I am still open to friendly spirited discussion on my page, so I am not chastising anyone here. Just setting some boundaries for myself.
P.S. - This goal does not include friendly trash-talking over sports.
[Bible quotes are from the Holman Christian Standard Bible, unless otherwise noted.]
Find more of David’s work at Heart Of Ministry.