The social media sorely tempt many people whose tendency is to let their emotions fly off the handle without properly evaluating the consequences of their angry words.
I see this sort of behaviour frequently on the social media in general, and I dare say that it has unhelpfully contributed to the current racial tensions, world wide, in the wake of the murder (what else can we call it?) of George Floyd in the USA.
In the Bible, the book of James helpfully warns us concerning the huge damage our tongues can cause...
"How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell..." ( James 3:5-6).
The book of Proverbs likewise has a lot of instruction and warning on the use of the tongue. We do well to rehearse the truths contained in this book of wisdom. Here are a few samples...
- Proverbs 10:11 The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence .
- Proverbs 10:18,19 The one who conceals hatred has lying lips and whoever utters slander is a fool. When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.
- Proverbs 11:12 Whoever belittles his neighbour lacks sense, but a man of understanding remains silent.
- Proverbs 12:19 Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue is but for a moment
- Proverbs 18:8 The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels; they go down to the inner parts of the body.
- Proverbs 18 13 If one gives an answer before he hear, it is his folly and shame.
I came across this helpful article by Alan Jacobs . These are some helpful rules to govern our tongue, helping us to think before we act.
May it help me and you to be careful with our words.
- I don’t have to say something just because everyone around me is.
- I don’t have to speak about things I know little or nothing about.
- I don’t have to speak about issues that will be totally forgotten in a few weeks or months by the people who at this moment are most strenuously demanding a response.
- I don’t have to spend my time in environments that press me to speak without knowledge.
- If I can bring to an issue heat, but no light, it is probably best that I remain silent. Private communication can be more valuable than public.