Over the weekend, I had a brush with one of those Twitter storms so many people fear these days, and I had a reminder of why they don’t really matter at all.
Many people are skeptical of CNN’s claim that they did not get a leaked “tip” from the FBI or Mueller’s team to have a camera crew on Trump adviser Roger Stone’s lawn before dawn Friday when the FBI conducted what should have been a top-secret raid to serve him with seven indictments in the Mueller investigation (actually, there never should have been any such armed raid. Stone is a 66-year-old, nonviolent alleged offender with no criminal record or current passport who had already offered to voluntarily turn himself in. Bursting into his home with that kind of firepower was political theater designed to pressure Stone and make headlines. It was not only unconscionable treatment of an American citizen, it was also reckless and dangerous: Stone’s wife is deaf, and agents waving guns were yelling instructions at her that she couldn’t hear. Thank God nobody was killed as a result of that outrageous, unnecessary stunt. Someone should be fired over it, at the very least.)
Well, someone emailed me a story noting that CNN contributor John Campbell was a former FBI special agent and special assistant to James Comey, and an outspoken defender of the FBI and the Mueller investigation and a Trump critic. That’s all true, as you can see from this op-ed he wrote for USA Today:
I made a mistake in my Twitter feed of referring to Campbell as the reporter on the scene, which he was not. I got a ton of grief for that mistake, so I apologized and deleted the tweet – even though CNN admitted that the decision to stake out Stone’s house came from their entire “Russian investigation” team (note: none of the charges against Stone involve Russia), and since Campbell is part of their team, the fact that he wasn’t the guy who had to camp out all night tells us nothing either way about whether or not he got a tip from his inside FBI sources and passed it to CNN. It’s a distinction without a difference. But I corrected it anyway.
Now that that’s cleared up, here’s a reminder of why all the attacks I received on Twitter didn’t bother me, and why they shouldn’t bother anyone else.
Sunday morning, I was honored to be a guest at the First Baptist Church of Dallas (their pastor, Robert Jeffress, will be a guest on my TBN show next weekend.) In his sermon, which was on the corrosive effects of worrying, he mentioned the third Psalm. In it, David wrote:
“Lord, how many are my foe! How many rise up against me! Many are saying of me, ‘God will not deliver him.” But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high. I call out to the Lord, and He answers me from His holy mountain. I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me. I will not fear though tens of thousands assail me on every side.”
These are words that I wish everyone, especially teenagers who are often blocked from hearing the wisdom of the Bible, could hear and take to heart. In the days of social media, we have so many trolls with soapboxes, ready to launch full-throated attacks on others from the comfort of their homes before they even know the facts (see last week’s attacks on the Covington Catholic school boys.) The Internet gives them a microphone, and it’s amplified by lazy reporters, who fill out their word quotas by repeating quotes from anonymous Twitter trolls as if they represented the vast majority of Americans. Many teenagers have suffered depression and even committed suicide from this kind of cyber-bullying.
I wish I could tell them all, both the victims and the irresponsible media members who enable this behavior, simply to press the “off” button and ignore it. If we all did that, the trolls would lose their power.
Always remember, your life’s value will not be judged by pundits or celebrities, talk show hosts or snarky bullies on Twitter or Facebook. You have a much higher judge than that. If you live your life so that that judge will one day tell you, “Well done, good and faithful servant,” then the transient phony “outrage” of a baying social media mob should not concern you in the least.