I’m guilty of it just like everyone else. We all, at some point during the week, said something we shouldn’t have said. We were aggravated, in a hurry, behind schedule or just were flat out having a bad day. So in the midst of all that we say something mean, hurtful or derogatory.
On Facebook and Twitter it seems that we are even worse at this. People apparently drop all sorts of social filters and just let things fly by the looks of their post, not comprehending that a great number of people will read it. So day after day people either type something on Facebook or say something while in the company of others that shouldn’t have ever been typed or uddered. But why is this even important? Why does it matter? Can’t we all just laugh it off and chalk it up to immaturity or stupidity? That would be the easy answer wouldn’t it. Just don’t address the problem, ignore it and it will go away. Yeah, that always seems to work.
The truth is that you need to understand that what you say, and now type, has an impact. I would like to suggest that I am only talking to teenagers, but the sad truth is that I am not. I work with teenagers on a weekly basis and am floored by some of the things they post and say, but when I look further down the page or simple am invited into a conversation I see that it’s adults, including myself, that also need to heed this warning.
Here are three verses in particular that should warn us, if not scare us, about what we say. The first is Proverbs 18:21 which says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who live it will eat its fruits.” The second is Matthew 15:18 which says, “But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person.” Lastly is Ephesians 4:29 which says, “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those that hear.”
From those verses we can see three simple questions we can ask ourselves.
1) Do the words I say bring help, healing and grace or out of arrogance and anger do I tear down and destroy those around me?
2) Has the Holy Spirit changed my heart so that I can see others like Jesus sees them or have I only been “trying harder” to be good and thus my words still proceed from an evil heart?
3) Do I use every opportunity I have (Facebook, Text, etc) to build up people or do I use these things to gossip and destroy people for my own pleasure and benefit?
The questions above are not “pretty” questions. They are hard questions that must be answered because though we might not like the idea we will be held accountable for what we say and type. Anger, arrogance and laziness are not excuses to slander, hate and destroy. If you’re not a Christian then I don’t expect this to make sense. In fact I can imagine you might say or type something along the lines of “This guys a ********* and a ********. He is so stupid I hope he gets hit by a car. He can’t tell me what I can and can’t say.” (Refer to Matthew 15:18 if that is you)
However, if you do love Jesus then I do expect you to ask yourselves those questions and to go after real answers. Your words mean something and they have an impact. I will pray for you in this endeavor as you pray for me.
And for all those wondering about the title. It says, “Your Words Absolutely Matter”