Are my words truthful? Are they kind and pleasant? The Bible gives us some truth about our words.
Several years ago I wrote an email to someone to express my heart over a hurtful situation between us. I was careful with my words, trying not to point a finger. My words were not received well and it caused even more separation in our relationship. It eventually worked out and our relationship was healed but I learned a valuable lesson.
Another time a friend and I were having lunch, catching up on life. She mentioned something to me I have not forgotten. She said younger Barbara was not careful with her words and would say hurtful things not caring that they hurt. Again, I learned a valuable lesson.
Our spoken words and our written words are important. They can hurt and they can help. These two situations with my words (and there are others) are a reminder for me to be careful and sensitive to the words I use. I’m still learning.
Words mean a lot to our Father. The Bible is one of His ways of communicating with His children. And He has a lot to say about our words.
Kind words are like honey, sweet to the soul and healthy for the body. Proverbs 16:24 New Living Translation
Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit—you choose. Proverbs 18:21 The Message (MSG)
Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift. Ephesians 4:29 The Message (MSG)
We will give an account of our words, according to The Bible in Matthew 12.
The words we write online matter as much as the words we speak out loud. For the most part, I enjoy being on social media, reading blogs and websites and surfing for new information. Yes, there is a lot of garbage out there but there is also a lot of good. Much of what I see online is in my control. For the words I can not control, well, I have to overlook them, pray they do not stick and move on.
Here are some suggested guidelines I try to follow when going on social media and the internet in general. (for a copy, which includes more than these 6, let me know and I will email it to you).
- Pray before logging in. Create passwords as a reminder, such as PrayContinually or BeBold&Loving. Pray for discernment, compassion, and peace.
- On Facebook, set notifications to friends & business pages to see first. Instructions are in the help center or ask me, I’d be happy to help. Unfollow friends who post anything and everything. I don’t have time to weed through it all. What I do instead is visit their page occasionally.
- Don’t read negative comments. It’s not healthy to fill our thoughts with that stuff. Look for the good words. Follow the fun and uplifting.
- When online and start feeling frustrated, jealous or angry, it’s time to go offline. Take a break for a day or a week. It’s not worth the angst.
- Comment to encourage, offer a prayer, or a Happy Birthday. Our words can make someone’s day.
- Send a thoughtful email or private message to someone you’re thinking of. If you’ve missed someone at church, see if they are OK.
It’s easy to get caught up in the latest politic rant or get sidetracked watching silly videos that make no sense, but if we are prayerful and intentional, the Internet can be a positive experience. Social Media can be a ministry, a place of community and a place to stay connected with family and friends who don’t live close. Be social on social media. Engage with encouragement. I regret hurtful words I have said over the years. But I’ll mess up again and again. Ask the Holy Spirit to help, then confess and repent.
The simple truth about our words is to use them wisely.
Thank you for reading and please feel free to share.
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