Never in the history of the world, has one been able to communicate to the masses so easily. We live in a world where anyone can express their viewpoint by simply tapping out a sentence or two on their cell phone. Not too long ago, in order to communicate to the masses, one had to write a book. With the advent of the Internet, you could simply post an article to your website or post a blog. Today, we have Facebook and Twitter. With the iteration of each new communication platform, it not only becomes easier to communicate, but one can now reach a broader audience in a shorter period of time. What used to take years to communicate, not takes less than a second, and therein lies a danger.
People do not think before they post. They post whatever they “feel” at that moment. Because they lack discipline, their posts are often defensive, steeped in selfish immature thinking reminiscent of of child in the grocery store who throws a temper-tantrum. Haven’t you read such posts yourself?
Just yesterday, a friend of mine wrote the following post on Facebook telling everyone that he was closing his Facebook account. Here is what he said:
“. . . Although I have enjoyed the opportunity over the years to re-connect with old friends, I can no longer take the rate of information especially as it pertains to political opinions, nor the ease by which people are able to dehumanize each other by not having face to face conversations about the really hard issues that we are facing today. This particular social media outlet makes it so easy for people to write things that they would never say to each other face to face . . . I love you all and hope to see you around.”
Paul encourages us by writing, “Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person” – Colossians 4:6. The temptation, however, is to post exactly what we feel, when we feel it, throwing grace to the wind, and salt in the wound.
Below are 3 things you can do right now to ensure that your words are gracious and “seasoned with salt” when posting to any social media platform.
Wait Before Posting
When reading an offensive post, the natural tenancy is to respond immediately to get YOUR point across. Stop. Breathe. And wait. Wait until you have heard from Wisdom. She may tell you to post something, but she very well may tell you not to post anything, and that’s OK. Getting her permission to post is key, and once you have her permission follow her council when writing.
Let Your Speech Always Be Gracious
It you do post, only post that which is going to build others up. In other words, only post things that edify others. If after reading what you have written, read it again to ensure that the biggest thing that comes across is the building up the listener, NOT your opinion (See Eph. 4:29). Opinions reflect your thinking. More to the point, they expose your thinking. If you approach each post with the object of building others up, that thinking will reflect in your writing, and will impact the reader.
Don’t Post What Something That Does Not Reflect Your Character
All too often, I read posts from people on Facebook or Twitter that appear to be “spiritual”, but really don’t reflect the character of the individual posting. The irony is that in posting something bigger than they are unknowingly expose their lack of spiritual depth. On the other hand, when one does post something that is in alignment with their character, it speaks loudly, and is remembered. Remember, spiritual authority only has a voice if it has already changed your character.