My life is built around words. I write. I speak. I carry on conversations. I have opinions and convictions. These are all expressed in words. Words can help. Words can heal. Words can lift people up or cause people to stumble.
The psalmist penned valuable wisdom when he wrote, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer” (19:14). That’s a good prayer to pray in a world of words. Doesn’t the Bible say we will be judged by our words? OUCH! Sometimes I wish God hadn’t brought that up.
The psalmist also recalls that words can be hateful and hurtful. With the explosion of social media, there’s also been an explosion of anger, angst, hurtful words, cynicism, and downright hateful statements. Let me give you a few reminders and warnings from God’s Word…
“His speech was smoother than butter, But his heart was war; His words were softer than oil, Yet they were drawn swords.” – Psalm 55:21
“All day long they distort my words; all their thoughts are against me for evil.” – Psalm 56:5
“They pour forth words, they speak arrogantly; all who do wickedness vaunt themselves.” – Psalm 94:4
“Because they had rebelled against the words of God and spurned the counsel of the Most High.” – Psalm 107:11
“If you have been snared with the words of your mouth, have been caught with the words of your mouth, do this then, my son, and deliver yourself; since you have come into the hand of your neighbor, go, humble yourself, and importune your neighbor.” – Proverbs 6:2, 3
“The words of the wicked lie in wait for blood,” – Proverbs 12:6
“The words of a man’s mouth are deep waters; the fountain of wisdom is a bubbling brook.” – Proverbs 18:4
“The words of a whisperer are like dainty morsels, and they go down into the innermost parts of the body.” – Proverbs 18:8
“For in many dreams and in many words there is emptiness.” – Ecclesiastes 5:7
I’ve been thinking about words lately. Especially when it comes to social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other platforms where we convey our words but it’s hard to read our intentions, facial expressions, or motives. Let me encourage all of us who call upon the name of the Lord to use our words wisely. I need to do this more. I would imagine you do as well. Let’s look at a few areas where we can hurt rather than help in how we utilize social media.
Too often, I’ve used my social media to vent about politics. I made a decision in 2016 that I wasn’t going to lose the high ground of the gospel by arguing about politics on social media. Drawing lines that divide believers over political issues is a waste of time. We have members who feel strongly about their parties and particular politicians. Why should I build walls between them over secondary issues? If we are followers of Jesus Christ and committed to the Great Commission and the Great Commandment, then politics is not a platform I need to stand on.
It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Ole Miss. I post my support from time to time. What I don’t appreciate is people who slam me or call me names just because I don’t worship the god of their university. If I can be for my team without trashing you and your fan base on social media, can I get the same break?
SHOPPING AND CUSTOMER SERVICE
When we post negatively about an experience at a local business, are we really helping the situation? After all, it’s easier to vent on social media than it is to go in and have a helpful conversation with the manager. If that doesn’t fix the problem, don’t do business there anymore. You never know when an employee may just be having a bad day. They could have just gotten unexpected news from a doctor or they may be going through a crisis at home. My word is, lighten up.
Do you post positive things about your experience at church? About a sermon or a song? About what God taught you in Sunday School? Why is it we can post about every TV show, movie, novel, and recipe we can think of and yet our social media is strangely silent about what God is teaching us?
Do we really need a selfie of everything you do and everywhere you go? No one’s life is that interesting, not even to their friends. This obsession with posting selfies is a revelation that humility is not one of the dominant characteristics of our lives. Here’s a suggestion when you are traveling – take it in, breathe the air, listen, and if you have time, take a picture.
As you post pictures of your family, you need to remember that there are predators everywhere on the internet. Be careful and wise as you post about your family and where you are and what you are doing. And be mindful of who you allow to follow you on social media. If you are married, are you honoring your spouse on social media? If you are a parent, are you edifying your kids through what you post about them?
How does your social media reflect your faith? Is it obvious to even the most casual observer that you are a follower of Jesus Christ? Is your social media a vibrant witness of who you are in Christ?
So to paraphrase an old saying, if you were arrested for being a Christian and all the evidence used by the defense and/or the prosecution was obtained from your social media posts, would there be enough evidence to convict you of being a fully devoted follower of Jesus Christ?
2 thoughts on “”
Never has a truer word been spoken!
I have always been a firm believer of the WEIGHT of words. I try to live by that principle and i have to check myself each time i am running my mouth or writing something that could impact the other person negatively.
I admire those who can share and network on the various social media platforms. I have never signed up for Facebook, Twitter or Instagram but to each his own. You could say i am a hopeless recluse. I believe those platforms are to be shared with friends. I don’t have any friends (which is kind of pathetic), but it is what it is. So what would be the point of joining those platforms? Some of us are looking for something real, a meaningful face to face conversation, a heartfelt cellphone call not a virtual facade or an illusion but i digress.
Be it as it may i will take what you have said under advisement. God bless you.
Words have great power. But I will also say that Facebook is the largest mission field on earth. I believe that good people need to join those spaces if only to befriend their loved ones and speak truth into their lives. Yes, Face to Face is awesome, but so many times, I’ve made connections with people online – even at church and my local community- that have developed into stronger offline relationships.
Our words have power especially when we empower those words with the power of Jesus Christ. But, as you’ve often said in church — some people probably shouldn’t post about their faith just because of all of the other stuff wthey post.
Our words should be salt and light. We should be different than the rest of the timeline. We shouldn’t worship our babies or our football teams or our lake house.
This is a passionate area for me and I’m praying how I can use my own knowledge in the area of social media savvy to help true believers spread the gospel truth and great joy via the largest mission field in the world. Never before have you or I had a chance ON A DAILY BASIS to talk to people all over the world about Jesus. And now, daily, gospel conversations are not only happening with me and my local friends and students but, quite literally, people around the world. Now, we can’t neglect our face to face people and friends, but the more in the kingdom – the merrier. And anything worth doing is worth doing to God’s glory.
May the words of our heart and the meditations of our mouth and the words and pics we share be acceptable in thy sight, Oh Lord, our strength and redeemer!
Thanks, as always, for this good word. Keep sharing.