I can't help but wonder if often we think like this. We look at other Christians and sigh or wring our hands, or more likely, today, take to our keyboards and vent via keystrokes. We are quick to assume the worst of others, quick to pass on what sliver of information - however patchy or sparse - we have heard to others. Slow to think the best or reflect on what someone else's struggles reveal about our own hearts.
The internet simply makes that tendency worse. We are overloaded with information which we don't seem to filter in the same way, rumours and innuendo swirl unchecked and at the speed of fibre optic without sources being verified. We tend to read one side of a story or account without checking the other, and we tend to assume to worst. And then the internet cuts our response time; we don't have to take time to think about things or to find out more, we don't draft and redraft we simply comment or post or tweet a response, without editing or filtering or time given to sleep on it or consider it. What we wouldn't say in a group of 8 or 9 friends because it isn't fully thought through or we would say and they would help us think it through - challenging and questioning us - we say on-line because it feels more impersonal.
When we hear of someone else's struggles with sin, be it pride, a lack of humility, or a perceived harshness our first response ought to be to examine our own hearts for those self same things. I know when I hear of it in others often it is in my own heart whether I have recognised it or not. Secondly these things need to be dealt with in relationship, if I don't know the person I probably shouldn't comment but entrust it to others God has placed in their life to do that. I certainly want to take time to pray reflectively through what I am reading. I want to ask questions; why is this here? Who has posted it and why? What good does it serve? Is it advancing the gospel or weakening it?
And I want to pray.
Father, forgive me for my prideful tendency to assume the worst of others and blindly the best of myself.
Father, expose and reveal my sin and then help me hate it as you do.
Help me never get comfortable with it or become blind to it.
Thank you for using _______ to show me my need to repent and of grace again.
Thank you for continuing to work in me despite my sin as you remake me in the image of your son.