2 Peter 2:9-10 “The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.”
“Loose lips sink ships” was an idiom used on propaganda posters during the second world war in America to beware of unguarded talk. With all that exists today; talk radio, social media, podcasts, and more, we can access any thought on any subject from any people group.
Whether or not what they are saying is true or not is left up to the hearer. A child of God must beware not only what they hear but what they speak.
I am amazed today at things posted on social media.
A neighbor’s dog left their waste on their lawn, and next thing you know, there is a smear campaign in the neighborhood to remove the dog and the owner and their whole household as well.
Someone perceives an injustice was done and launches a social media blitz to share their offense over the world wide web only to find they were missing a few pieces of crucial information that would quell the whole argument.
Another idiom we should share is,
“Better to be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.”
If only God’s children would just take heed to the Word of God.
Psalm 34:13 “Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile.”
Proverbs 13:3 “He that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life: but he that openeth wide his lips shall have destruction.”
James 1:26 “If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.”
James 3:6 “And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.”
So often, I hear God’s people create or join in discussions that have a righteous premise but soon degrades into name-calling, denigrating someone not present, and eventually gossip.
Social media has no filter for such things.
Respect for the position one holds is a thing of the past. Seemingly, everything is up for debate and criticism. I may disagree with what is said or how things are run, but who am I to speak against someone?
Yes, I may have an opinion. Are we so filled with self-importance to think that my opinion about someone matters?
In political matters, I have but one vote to express my view. As a child of God, I must pray for those in the public office first in my list of prayers.
1 Timothy 2:1-2 “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.”
Some minute situations and circumstances would warrant us to express our displeasure or disagreement. When we are pressed to deny our faith or renounce our Savior, we are only to stand against our authority.
We are to have a voice for the fatherless and the widow. The church is the vehicle by which God uses to meet their needs, not social media.
James 1:27 “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”
In today’s passage, I was caught by the phrase,
“Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.”
Presumptuous is defined: irreverent concerning sacred things. Self-willed reveals the root of the problem, and its fruit is to remove all fear of what we say in those moments.
I recall a moment when listening to a talk radio show railing against the church and Christians in particular. The subject matter discussed raised such anger that I found myself calling, awaiting my time to express my opinion on the air.
I was enraged. I would let the audience know the truth, and all would see the wrong being spoken of. It was then the sweet Holy Spirit spoke to my heart and asked just how this would all unfold and how it would help the cause of Christ.
He showed me that the venue of talk radio is used to incite extreme emotion and, however possible, turn it on edge to gain more of an engaged audience.
It wasn’t about seeking truth.
It wasn’t fair or just.
I would be painted as another one of those “haters” because of the Bible I believed, and the Christ I followed. The Holy Spirit said it would not end well. After hanging up, I saw things clearly.
God sets the stage for us to give the gospel when we simply obey and do as He asks. Being a ready witness for the Savior allows God to bring about the divine appointments that He orchestrates.
We must all govern our tongues. But it starts with the heart.
Proverbs 4:23 “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”
Luke 6:45 “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.”
Words cannot be taken back once spoken. We can beg forgiveness, but the wound has already been opened. There will be a scar and a remembrance of what was said.
Better to guard what we say before we speak, type, or post, than to have to offer a retraction. It would be best to ask God if what we are about to speak, type or post would glorify Him.
At least offer God the opportunity to use that which He purchased for His glory, not ours.