When you are part of a conversation, do you add energy or suck energy?

Some conversations, whether face-to-face (not so much of that lately) or on a website, add energy to you and you are ready to tackle your work or other challenges.

On the other hand, some suck such energy seemingly from your very bones. You are left angry, hurt, lost, despondent.

Looking at the situation from other’s viewpoint toward you, how are they left feeling when you leave?

Most of the time, I bring peace and calm. But I am prone to the occasional stinging comment that is meant to provoke thinking. But I imagine sometimes it just raises blood pressure numbers without getting my point through.

Sometimes on Facebook I see a comment so insensitive and wrong that I can’t help myself. The latest have involved people posting pictures of a white guy with a comment superimposed on the picture, “If you don’t break the law, you don’t have anything to fear from police.”

“Only if you’re white,” I’ll comment. And since I don’t hang out in Facebook, I don’t see any reactions. And…I probably didn’t make the point.

People can point to scriptures. The apostle Paul wrote in Romans 13 that same sentiment about obeying the law and you won’t get in trouble. What if he had been writing that letter 10 years later under a different emperor who instigated violence against Jesus-followers simply for being Jesus-followers? I bet his worldview might have shifted slightly.

The same could be said for Jesus-followers in many places around the world at this very moment. Just for following, they could be arrested, jailed, killed.

Little quips can be cute to some people and cutting to others. And they often deny the reality of fellow human beings who are also created in the image of God.

Next time you (I) get the urge for the cutting comment, try pausing and asking what we are adding to the conversation—positive energy or sucking the energy out of someone.

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