In the age we live in, we are surrounded by and inundated with various types of technology. It seems as though almost everyone (under a certain age) is involved in social media, gadgets, smartphones, texting, status updates, and “tweeting” most everything that happens to them every day. Along with this unbridled dispensation of personal experiences and thoughts comes many opinions and various points of view. Everyone, and I mean everyone, seems to have something to say nowadays. My grandmother always told me that opinions are much like armpits: “everyone has them, and sometimes they stink!”
I think we, as a society, we may have lost sight of the true meaning of our “freedom of speech.” We should always stand for what is right, just and Biblically correct, and defend those things with all our might. In, and of itself, there is nothing wrong with expressing how you feel, or sharing experiences. However, just because we have the “right” to say whatever we want, doesn’t mean that we should say everything we think, or that we should always voice our opinion. The problem is that many of us have completely forgotten how to “filter” these things and choose what should and should not be said.
In the Book of James, we read that the tongue can be used for both good and evil, that it holds great power for either encouragement or destruction and that, like a spark that births the fire that consumes a great forest, our words can start a chain-reaction that can bring great devastation in the lives of others. I believe in using the internet, social media, and any format available to spread the Gospel, to encourage other brothers and sisters in Christ, and to speak life into the lives of other people. With that being said, I believe we all should think a little more before we speak, consider the weight of what we say and choose our words wisely. I fear that many Christians care more about being heard than they do about being “right.” If we are not careful, we may teach the generation behind us that “speaking your mind” is more important that “speaking the truth.”
“A GENERATION OF FOOLS DOES NOT RAISE UP SAGES…BUT EVEN GREATER FOOLS.” –Hevyn Allen
The more mindful we are of what we say, the more likely we will be to use our words to uplift, to encourage, and the benefit those around us. I challenge us all to spend more time in the Word, and in prayer, so that we will have the wisdom to “speak the truth in love” as those opportunities arise.
“Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church.” (Ephesians 4:15)
Consider the words of Paul in the following quote from 1 Corinthians, chapter 10:
23 “All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up. 24 Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor.
31 So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 32 Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God, 33 just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved.
Notice that Paul said that he did what he did so that “they might be saved.” When we speak to others, when we “tweet” our update our Facebook status, may we all be mindful of the power that our words have, but most importantly, let us strive to conduct ourselves in a manner that brings glory to God, that encourages others, and that gives those who are lost a reason and the desire to come to know the God we serve! As Christians, we have a responsibility and a calling to mingle our thoughts, our speech, and our lives with God’s Word. As the Psalmist so eloquently put it:
“Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.” Psalm 19:14