Ephesians 4: 29 States: "Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers".
We are often reminded in the world of the words: "sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me".
I recall once I went to my dear mother and complained about the names I had been called - her response was "sticks and stones" as she soothed my bruised ego. Surprisingly and in just a few moments - I felt she was right - and soon none of it seemed to matter.
In reality however, and more so in the wider world in which we now live, my situation does not hold true anymore. Words can and do hurt and for quite long periods after the occurrence. Ask any one who was ever abused in writing and publicly.
As a rule, we talk less today but write more. We no longer see the immediate effect our written words have on others, and when we try to recant our knee-jerk reactions online, we find its not so easy anymore.
When we rant on Facebook about a friend or situation we observed - Its out there! When we belittle a coworker or an acquaintance - its out there! When we leave nasty comments in blogs - its out there! We may delete it later on - but its too late as real time delivery means its seen right away - shared hundreds and even thousands of times - and on top of that - it may even be downloaded to private devices.
Long after we have forgotten what was said and why - its still out there for speedy recall and reference by the world.
In Ephesians 4:29 Paul reminds us to choose our words carefully - especially as the world moves further away from God and becomes even more disinterested in the matters concerning God.
Today, lets think about what we are trying to communicate to others - and how best to say it while still getting the point across. Let's deliberate on whether our words are helpful - or simply depict someone in meltdown. Is our tone affable and kind? Are our words encouraging - not disparaging? Will our post be helpful and supportive of healthy dialogue? Will anyone learn something new and good from what weare about to say? Will any one learn how to trust God more and improve their daily lives before Him?
A prayer for today: "Thank you Lord for forgiving me when I fail - help me to forgive others when they fail too. Make me a burning light of optimism, stability and hope so others will gravitate towards You through me."