If you own a smart phone, television or computer, or know someone who does, it will not take long to find an overwhelming amount of dissension amongst your fellow man. You might also find yourself getting wrapped up in topics that create much division and anger, if you’re not careful. As I write this, I can easily think of a handful of instances that cause strife between relatives, friends and strangers. You can find such things on social media, coming from news outlets and in television shows. There’s no shortage of opinion out there, but there is certainly a lack of grace.
While the technologies we have gained in this realm of communication can be very useful, it has also, unfortunately, altered the collective mindset. Thirty years ago, much of what is said openly and casually through social media and other platforms now, would have never been said back then. This is because back then, you had to say it to their face. With the platforms we have available today, you don’t have to say it to another person’s face; you can write it on Facebook. You don’t have to see the look in their eyes as you insult them; you can do it in a tweet…as long as you don’t go over 280 characters (I’m afraid many have become proficient in using insults, using far fewer characters than that). You can put your angry feelings in form of a comment found below a news post, hiding behind a screen, where you won’t get socked in the nose if you really make someone angry. We have disconnected ourselves from one another, and plugged into a digital curtain to cover us from the shame that comes with saying terrible things to another’s face.
We are fortunate to live in a society that gives us the freedom to say what we want, but unfortunate in the aspect that our society doesn’t do a very good job of teaching us that we should be careful in what we say, how we say it, and whether we should even say it at all. Of course, such teachings should start at home, and with the help of God’s Word.
Listed below, are 15 tips found in God’s Word, that should be applied whenever you have something to say to, or about someone, in a public or a private setting.
Be encouraged as you read this, that while we all fall short sometimes, we have the opportunity to serve a Living God, who will show us how to handle situations like this, if we will open our hearts to Him. There is still hope in God’s Word!
1) If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless.
2) Whoever belittles his neighbor lacks sense, but a man of understanding remains silent.
3) Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil.
4) As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions.
5) Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.
6) Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble.
7) Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.
8) Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.
9) Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.
10) A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouths of fools pour out folly.
11) From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.
12) Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
13) But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.
14) Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all.
15) Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.
Have a blessed day, friends.