These few weeks I’ve been admonish gently and in a very real way by people around me and more importantly by God about something that I thought I’d never fall into. In recent times, I’ve always guarded myself in avoiding being the “keyboard warrior”. If you don’t know what it means, it is when you sit behind a keyboard and write Facebook comments or blogs, or anything online about a topic. Taking pot shots at the topic on one side of the fence. Usually nasty, condescending, provocative or sometimes just distastefully immature words come out and it doesn’t help the debate or add any value to the discussion or topic. Keyboard warriors are usually not constructive, and even if they are, they will not make even a dent in the cause they are fighting for sitting behind the keyboard.
Hopefully, you get what I mean by now. I was like that. In fact, I was worse. I used to be hot tempered even in real life. I still remember the times when I would fight openly in a train station in Singapore with my then ex-girlfriend publicly when I was a teen. I would fight with my parents all the time. I would rebel against any authority effecting me. I guess its God or simply age. I’ve mellowed down a few notches. It slowed down to being a keyboard warrior, and gradually even that stopped. I told myself, God demanded us to be meek. It takes more energy to be meek than to be hot headed. Believe me!
“Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom.” James 3:13 ESV
Up until this week, I thought I was doing pretty good in this department. I catch myself before I “shoot” at things. Make sure that if I’m not edifying anyone or God, that I keep my gaping hole shut. I guess self righteousness, pride, sinfulness of my own flesh is never far from satan’s pulling strings. These feelings surfaced in other areas. Areas closer to home. Areas more subtle. It is here that it hurts the most. Where the sin becomes more insidious.
Let me explain. Unbeknownst to me, subconsciously or addictively, I started on a my-bible-knowledge-and-my-church-and-pastors-teachings-are-better-than-you-or-your-knowledge-and-whoever-you-respect quest. It’s funny, sad and a little embarrassing really. Imagine a kungfu movie when this young guy chanced upon a really powerful book that teaches awesome kickbutt kungfu moves that would save the world. Sounds cool right. But to make a 2 hour movie, this guy has to stupidly learn some moves, and before he can finish the book, go out to the world, bash some people thinking its the right thing to do and cause more chaos, confusion and calamity than he did good.
At this point, I’d like to apologise to people whom I’ve done this to. In the next few weeks, I’ll be repenting and talking to you about my failings in confusing or stumbling you.
To finish up, I’d like to say to my future self and also anyone who is a keyboard warrior or worse: please do not fall into this trap. Good and sound reformed theology is, in and of itself, not enough to “take on the world”. It takes wisdom, discernment, true meekness, respect and a whole lot more fruits of the Spirit, including, most of all, God’s power and will to get it right. Otherwise, you’ll be causing more harm than good to people around you. Especially your loved ones.
“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Col 3:12-17 ESV