To Label Is To Libel

Published by DonDavidson on

Every week I receive in my email inbox “An Encouraging Word” from Max Lucado. A recent Encouraging Word had a phrase that caught my attention: “To label is to libel.”

Mr. Lucado’s point is that we often label people because we are judging them—and judging them harshly, I might add. However, Christians shouldn’t be in the business of judging others. We should instead be loving others and judging ourselves.

Jesus warned us about this when he said:

Do not judge, so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, “Let me take the speck out of your eye,” and look, the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye![1]

Not that long ago I noticed a log in my own eye in the way I dealt with people on social media. I would routinely use words like “stupid,” or worse, when referring to an opinion—or even an opinion holder—with which I disagreed. Now I try to be factual rather than personal or insulting in my comments. And when a discussion degenerates into name-calling, I usually leave the conversation.

I am not perfect, and I certainly am not going to judge you, gentle reader. But I would invite you to look at your own social media comments and judge yourself to see if perhaps there is a log in your eye like I had in mine.

Jesus said we should “treat people the same way you want them to treat you.”[2]

He also said, “why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?”[3]

Why indeed? Social media—and the world—would be a much nicer place if we would all just do what Jesus told us to do.

[1]. Matthew 7:1-5

[2]. Matthew 7:12

[3]. Matthew 6:46


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