Words hurt. Words can help heal. Words can divide or words can bring together. Words are powerful.
In the console of my truck, I keep a letter. Not a written letter, but a wooden Scrabble piece. Some of my Friendship peeps may remember a few years ago we did a revival series on the power of words. We used the Scrabble pieces as giveaways to those attending. The wood tiles are to be a reminder of the principles we looked at that week. To speak life, to let no unedifying word proceed from our mouth, and so on. I believe my brother Andy was the speaker that week. (I’ve heard wood Scrabble tiles are a gem for crafters – hard to find for the new editions are all plastic – so FBC gave out collector tiles. I think I will keep mine for a while.)
But words we use are more than just the words we speak. We use words on FaceBook, Twitter, and other social media platforms. Sometimes I scroll Facebook and I get irritated with all the junk on there (and I am speaking of more than just cat videos). People seem uninhibited and will argue over the smallest, insignificant details. People have gotten fired over words used. Relationships have been severed. Lies have been spread. And it often seems FB has gone over to Darth Vader’s Dark Side.
But I have seen great stuff too. Here are some specific examples I have seen in recent days – Friends safe from Tornadoes in central VA, Prayers answered with Robert Morris coming home from the hospital, baptism videos, new Christian music, snippets from sermons by great preachers like Groeschel, MacDonald, and Batterson, a new life with the birth announcement on Twitter, and love being poured out for the family of Barbara Bush. All these were positive, and I am glad I was able to read them.
What is the take away? Thom Rainer wrote about seven positive ways to use social media. (click here to see the original article) Here are the points adapted a bit …
– Pray before and after you post. Ask for wisdom and for God to have the honor.
– Be an encourager. What did you say today to build someone up? You may never know what positive impact a few good words can do. The week, Taylor F posted some pics of some hikes we did. That made my day – the memories and the thoughts of a friend. 1 Thes 5.11
– Have a gentle spirit. Our desire should be to win hearts, not to win arguments.
– Remember there are people watching. What an incredible opportunity to be seen as people of love and compassion. I know some of my hotel co-workers have read a few of my blogs. I so desire to be engaging, humorous, and let them all know the greatness of what I have found in Jesus.
– Demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit. Do your posts, remarks, and media show love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, and self control?
– Create a prayer ministry through social media. Pass along prayer requests. Even write a short prayer and post on their timeline (Not like ‘Pray for You’ by Jaron and the Long Road to Love – go ahead, laugh, but not the types of prayers you should post on other’s timeline.)
– Seek to create unity.
What would FB, Twitter, SnapChat, IG, LinkedIn, etc. look like if we did these seven practices?
Words hurt. Words can help heal. Words can divide or words can bring together. Words are powerful. What do your words do?
I kept my letter from Scrabble. Did you?