Oh my word, I thought. What rubbish!
I’d just read a Stuff article about how aggressive the thumbs up emoji is for Gen Z’ers to receive. So, as any good researcher does, I went on the hunt for some good sources to investigate and came across Sophie and Sam at the table.
“So,” I started, “tell me, I just read this dumb article about how young people get traumatised by us Gen X’ers using the thumbs up emoji. Is it true?” (with shades of disgruntled disbelief littering my entire tirade). They both stiffened and looked at each other, then one of them chose to cut through the trying-to-make-me-feel-ok and confirmed the article’s premise. It’s apparently seen as quite a sarcastic response, or what I would think of as a slow clap. “But”, they assured me, “it’s ok when you do it, we know you don’t mean it.” “Well, sorry, I suppose”, came my somewhat lacklustre apology.
I came away from the conversation shaking my head in disbelief that this generation could get so uptight about something so simple. I felt quite offended that I had caused offense.
As I calmed down and started to see the deep irony in my reaction, God gently asked me “where else do you need to tread lightly? Where else may your actions inadvertently cause hurt even if you don’t mean it? Are you willing to be less defensive and explore where I am asking you to be my righteousness and put things right, even though you have not meant harm?”
The words of Paul to the church in Corinth have come to mind, “We put no stumbling block in anyone’s path, so that our ministry will not be discredited.” And as I reflect on various aspects of life, my prayer this week has been that I would not be a stumbling block, but be used by God to remove obstacles, for God’s glory.
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