The last couple of weeks we have been studying the use of words especially focusing on James 3. Just in case you may have missed that particular week, I showed how James 3 teaches us that:
1. Words Matter
2. Words matter for they reveal our heart
3. Words matter for they can form our/other’s hearts
4. Words said to/from God can heal our words to others
To prove a point, Sonship international ministry provides these instructions of speech to show how much of our thoughts and words reveal a continual struggle for approval. We continual believe that we are in a courtroom to demonstrate our worth to ourselves, others, and God.
- Do not complain or grumble.
- Do not boast about anything at all.
- Do not gossip or repeat bad information about somebody else.
- Do not run somebody down, even a little bit.
- Do not defend or excuse yourself, no matter what.
- Do always affirm other people.
Yet. according to the gospel we are already approved by the work of Jesus on the cross on our behalf. As approved by God, the only lasting authority, I no longer need to push myself before lesser authorities. Yet our words may reveal that our heart doesn’t believe this declaration.
Consider these instructions in light of social media. If you applied the instructions listed above to your social media postings and remarks, how many of your postings would be eliminated? Social media’s effect is to amplify our heart revelations as well as intensify the effect on other people’s hearts. The media can be a powerful tool for good if we learn to talk and hear from God before posting and remarking. Note in the verse below that the object of judgment is not just our speech, but our words whether written or spoken.
Matthew 12:36 I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, 37 for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”