Rule of Thumb

Don't do anything on the internet that you don't want other people to find out about.
My rule of thumb with social media for a long time now has been to not post anything I don't want people to know, but this...
Well, this rule of thumb is rapidly ascending my list of rules to live by.
This summer's Ashley Madison hack, and watching the fallout from the sidelines has made sure of that.
Don't do anything online that you don't want other people to find out about.
Nothing really disappears once it hits the internet, remember?
Whether it's thanks to the age of screen capture technology or cached versions of a web page or other means, what you post never disappears.
Deleting things is like erasing a chalkboard.
What was written on there is dispersed, but the chalk itself doesn't go away.
It lingers.
Don't do anything online that you don't want others to find out about.
It's a specific situation of the principle of not doing anything you don't want people to know about.
Because what you do in secret will eventually see the light of day.
Josh Duggar found that out the hard way.
So did Sam Rader, and so have all of the people whose information was leaked as a result of the hack.
Don't do anything you don't want people to find out about.
It's ruined lives, all these secret things people have done, not expecting anyone to find out.
Relationships have been destroyed.
Millions of broken hearts, dealing with pain I can't imagine because my heart's never been in the places theirs are in.

"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another." (John 13:34)
I admit, it's easy for me to sit here at my computer and type all of this out because I'm an outsider to the spectacle.
It's easy to laugh at the situation the (would-be) cheaters have gotten themselves into, to pat myself on the back and congratulation myself on not falling into that particular trap.
But once the laughter fades away, I still have to face what's made a home inside of me.

As beautiful as it would be to believe that people are innately good, I only have to glance at my heart to know it isn't true.
That I have the same capacity to do these things that have been done.
And that I have to choose every single day to put one rule of thumb at the top of the list.
"Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma." (Ephesians 5:1-2)
Love, guys.
Jesus sacrificed himself out of love for even the worst of the worst.
Let's love the same way.