I have a love-hate relationship with social media, in particularly Facebook. The only reason I still have an account is because of ministry; it’s a great tool to get encouraging content in front of lots of people. Don’t get me wrong, since moving from my hometown, I DO enjoying seeing what my friends and family are up to. But if I’m being completely honest, I rarely scroll through the feed because of all the garbage, gossip, unfiltered opinions, and discouragement I have to sort through to find my loved ones posts. I believe social media is an incredible tool we as Christians can use to bring life and hope to others, but are we really using it in this way?
This past week I was on one of my rare scrolls and came across a post that seemed pretty innocent until I noticed the dozens of comments. I was intrigued as to what people had to say about this seemingly common post. I was so heart broken to read one comment after another as people talked down on others, gave their opinions about situations they knew little about, made someone else’s business the highlight of their night, and typed words that will hurt another one of God’s children.
As my hubs and I climbed into bed that night, I was frustrated about what I had read. Agitated that people, even Christians would act like this, hurting others with their words because they are so convinced they are right and the others are wrong. It would’ve been super easy for this SUPER sassy girl to also give my two cents about the situation. I could’ve joined right in and told them how wrong they were and I was tempted for sure. My mouth is certainly one of my biggest struggles. But the more angry and disappointed I grew about the post, the more God whispered, speak LIFE!
“Not many should become teachers, my brothers, because you know that we will receive a stricter judgment. For we all stumble in many ways. If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is mature, able also to control the whole body. Now if we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we direct their whole bodies. And consider ships: Though very large and driven by fierce winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So too, though the tongue is a small part of the body, it boasts great things. Consider how a small fire sets ablaze a large forest. And the tongue is a fire. The tongue, a world of unrighteousness, is placed among our members. It stains the whole body, sets the course of life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. Every kind of animal, bird, reptile, and fish is tamed and has been tamed by humankind, but no one can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With the tongue we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in God’s likeness. Blessing and cursing come out of the same mouth. My brothers and sisters, these things should not be this way. Does a spring pour out sweet and bitter water from the same opening? Can a fig tree produce olives, my brothers and sisters, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a saltwater spring yield fresh water.”
James 3:1-12 CSB
“From the fruit of a person’s mouth his stomach is satisfied; he is filled with the product of his lips. Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”
Proverbs 18:20-21 CSB
“Either make the tree good and its fruit will be good, or make the tree bad and its fruit will be bad; for a tree is known by its fruit. Brood of vipers! How can you speak good things when you are evil? For the mouth speaks from the overflow of the heart. A good person produces good things from his storeroom of good, and an evil person produces evil things from his storeroom of evil. I tell you that on the day of judgment people will have to account for every careless word they speak. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”
Matthew 12:33-37 CSB
It’s easy to speak life when everything is good, when everyone is treating you right, and when the world agrees with us. But when things get difficult, when others words are hurtful, or when someone is against you – it’s absolutely natural to want to speak anything but life into a situation or into the person who’s against you. But can I remind you that we cannot speak both blessings and curses; we will be accountable for everything we say, and what we speak we will also be filled with.
If you want an abundant life – speak life! If you want to live a life full of dread and gloom, speak death! And don’t expect God to bless when you speak life into yourself and death into your neighbor. It’s time for us, yes, me too, to rise above a Facebook post, a nasty email, a hurtful text, and the need to tear others down and speak life, EVEN IF they don’t deserve it. They too are God’s children and He cares about His kids, even the ones who make mistakes! SPEAK LIFE!