Facebook can be an amazing tool to connect with folks far and near, but it can also be one of the most exasperating parts of our lives. Why? Because it’s hard to love some people sometimes.
What better time to test our measure of brotherly love than after a major election. You all know what I’m talking about. It doesn’t matter where you draw your political, moral or spiritual lines—there is going to be somebody on Facebook to attack you.
The annoying part is that these jabs and punches are coming from your friends! I only go public on Facebook with my opinions about every two years. I was shocked at how quickly the battle began, with folks challenging my opinion, on one of the few occasions I made a public statement about my beliefs. My blood pressure soared. I was seriously taken back by how eager these folks were to start a fight. I could feel their little fingers poised above their keyboard like big red buttons, just itching to launch another nuke into my post.
We can all agree that friends are easy to love when we share all the same values. But what happens to that love when friends take a side you never saw before? Do you stop loving them? Do you ignore it and pretend the difference is not there? Should you try to salvage that relationship? And how?
The easiest way to resolve this situation is to click the “Unfriend” button, but I’m not convinced that’s always the best thing to do. Think about it: Is it worth it to lose someone special after just one virtual exchange? Not everybody is easy to love. But everybody does have something about them that is loveable. I’m not suggesting that we send flowers to every person who attacks our Facebook posts. I am suggesting that you remember what brought you together as friends in the first place, to focus on the parts of the person you love. Enemies are easy to make. But friends, they’re not so easily won. If you do have a handful of good ones, hang on to them. If you’re right about whatever it is that you’re fighting about, then don’t worry. The truth always comes out in the end.
So yeah, it is hard to love some people sometimes, but I say love them anyway. You don’t have to agree or compromise in order to do so. You can still hold your views just as strongly as ever. Admit your differences, and agree to disagree. After all, love is not about what you get, it’s about what you give. So be kind to your friends. If the relationship is a true friendship, it will be worth wading through the tough spots.