Rush, hurry, and speed up. Don’t slow down or you will become obsolete, outdated or forgotten. Snap the shot, upload it quick, and make sure each subscriber is impressed.
Sound familiar? This is what our culture teaches us success looks like. And deep down, if we are honest with ourselves, a thin thread of self-worth and overall approval are tied to those very hurried tasks and online notifications. Most of us find ourselves striving to keep up with the latest trends, slangs and hahas all in hopes of fitting in with those we admire and aspire to be around. Yet, in a world where so much is now said through our fingers via social media, rather than our verbal words, one must pause and reflect on what we choose to post about and honestly ask ourselves—are we missing something?
Have you ever noticed the feeling of liberty to say whatever you think online, but these very things would never dare be voiced. Such opinions are typed out and sent with little or not disdain for the impact of the recipient…let alone our reputation for sending such a message. Let’s look at this from another angle.
In the Bible, the half-brother of Jesus, James, addresses this very thing in his own book. He states that out of the same mouth can come blessings and later cursing. James argues passionately that this should not be! If we are willing to take an honest evaluation, a sincere look at our comments and information we “like”, “share” and “follow” will reveal a lot about our heart status.
“9With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.” James 3: 9-10 (NIV)
Let me be real with you, I can grow so hot-headed in text setting with a close confidant, seeing as I don’t think I am actually saying the comment…that I grow embarrassed later…as I reread what I have said with such carelessness. So, what’s the harm in it? To put a modern implication on this message of controlling our speech, as found in the book of James, this would include not only our spoken words, but also the verbiage and tone we choose on social media. What James is saying here is heavy stuff! It’s not good enough to simply “act right”….we need to check ourselves in the words we speak…and chose to write on social media.
“Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.” Ephesians 4:29 (NLT)
So, how does one know what is appropriate to comment on, share or even link to? Well, another writer within the Bible, Paul, speaks on this very topic in the book of Philippians with a great checklist for our words and motives:
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” Philippians 4:8 (NIV)
If we really want to find lasting approval, may we pour our attention into the Word of God. If we really want the attention of others from our social media platform, may we live in such a way that by following us, they are pointed to Jesus Christ! Ladies, this is real stuff and we have been called to greatness—to eternal things—to speaking life. May we be a generation of young women who meditate over scripture and seek the Lord’s counsel over offered through the world wide web (Psalm 119:9-16). The only place we will find lasting satisfaction is when we lift our gaze from the eyes of others and glowing screens around us (that scream for our attention) and lift them heavenward to the Lord.
“I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” Psalm 121:1-2 (NIV)
“Let them give thanks to the LORD for His faithful love and His wonderful works for all humanity. For He has satisfied the thirsty and filled the hungry with good things.” Psalm 107:8-9 (HCSB)
Ladies, when times grow tough and it just seems to make sense to simply run faster and speak the first thing that comes to our minds, may we take the time to pause before the Lord prior to taking action. When the pressure and stress of life seems too great, may we force ourselves to put down our phones and pick up our Holy Bible. When we are boiling mad, hurt to the core or scared out of our minds, the first thing we need to do is seek the Lord. The world tells us just the opposite, but lasting satisfaction in never found in any other place.
As we are willing to come boldly before the throne of grace and list our need for guidance, intervention or whatever else…we honor God and people take notice. May we be a generation of women known for conveying only the choicest of words; both spoken as well as written. Ladies, we have been called to a higher standard than common banter. As followers of Jesus Christ, we have been called to involve, influence and impact those in our spheres in a positive way for the kingdom of God. You were made for this. Now the question remains, what’s your update?
“Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10 (NASB)