This week, I had to block someone on my Facebook account. Among the thousands of people I have as Facebook friends and followers, this individual was unknown to me before reading their words. I blocked the person for taking potshots at people and name-calling. The words used were cruel and misinformed.
When I was a cop, I remember working a two-person unit late at night in a rural area when a sniper took a shot at our vehicle. It was a nerve-racking experience. Snipers shoot at people from a place of concealment. They are especially effective from long range. The target of a sniper rarely knows from where the round is being fired. In a military or SWAT operation, snipers are a needed and precise tool of conflict. In the jungle of social media, snipers exist because of a relational disconnect where cowards find false courage that would not be present in a face-to-face meeting where our words have personal and sometimes physical consequences.
Scripture says, “If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all people” (Romans 12:18). This is not always possible with some people who do not know the boundaries of a healthy relationship. For me, it has meant being willing to put away my relational sniper rifle and allow God’s word and His Spirit to be the ones to fire a round of love into someone’s heart. Our undisciplined sniping shots can kill a relationship because our aim is off. A precisely aimed shot of truth from God will always release the potential for life.