Something has been weighing pretty heavily on my heart and I feel like addressing it, today. It concerns how we (Christians) behave on social media. There always seems to be one thing, or another, stirring up controversy at any given time. And there is no shortage of opinions (or vitriol) concerning said controversies. I’m not going to give my opinion on any of those topics. I am, however, going to share some Scripture verses that we should probably keep in mind as we share our opinions with world.
My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.
Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. James 1:19-27 (emphasis mine)
“In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. Ephesians 4:26-27
Do not make friends [or correspond on social media] with a hot-tempered person, do not associate with [or reply to] one easily angered, or you may learn their ways and get yourself ensnared. Proverbs 22:23-24 [additional comments mine]
Mockers stir up a city, but the wise turn away anger. Proverbs 29:8
…but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. James 3:8-10
The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit. Proverbs 18:21
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13 (emphasis mine)
The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. Proverbs 12:18
I watched a video, this morning, while I was waiting for the coffee to brew. I’ve been reflecting on it, all day. I have watched it a number of times and will continue to pray and meditate on what was spoken. It brought conviction…and hope.
I’ll admit that I have had to deal with both a spirit of offense AND a judgmental spirit. I imagine most people do…especially if they spend any longer than five minutes on social media. But we don’t have to accept those spirits…just like we don’t have to accept a spirit of fear (2 Timothy 1:7).
When we accept Jesus as our Savior, we become a new creation; sons and daughters of the King; ambassadors of Christ; salt and light; Christ’s hands and feet. Shall I go on? When we post, or respond to something, on social media – are we coming from a place of reflection and meditation on God’s Word? Or are we simply reacting?
I’ve done both. And I know that God is never glorified when I react. However, when I stop and converse with Him (and lay down my offense and judgment), I give Him an opportunity to speak to someone else, through me, for His glory!
This is yet another reason why being in the Word of God is essential! We must have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16) in order to respond as He would (as He wants us to). The only way to do this is to abide in the Word – in Jesus, Himself!
My prayer is that more Christians would learn to reflect instead of just react. When I read posts, responses and comments, oftentimes, it is difficult to tell the believers from the non-believers. Brothers and sisters, this should not be so! We are a people filled with the Holy Spirit of God! And if we are walking in the Spirit, then our words should be spoken from love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). Our words should speak life.
Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. Colossians 4:6
Listen: Speak Life – TobyMac