Obeying Matthew 12:36 in a Dangerously Digital Age

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Your social media is platform for proclamation. What are you speaking?
Your social media is platform for proclamation. What are you speaking? (Charles de Pineres)

My chest hurts so much, and I know yours does too. Honestly, I am having a hard time catching my breath. Finding words to speak is difficult, and this does not happen to me very often. I am a verbal processor, but the pain is so deep, the dismay is so near, that I cannot find another way out but to type.

The Impulse

It has crossed my mind that the misinformation we as people believe, the opinions and life experiences we all deem as truth, the rhetoric we all speak and simply do not live by, are serving as a mirror to our own souls.

Jesus said, "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another" (John 13:35). First, permit me to say that I am not troubled by the negative, ignorant, raging posts by non-believers. When they come from someone who doesn't know Jesus, I cannot nor will I expect him or her to adhere to a biblically-based worldview. What troubles me are the non-edifying comments by those of us professing to be disciples or at least followers of Christ. Men and women who consider themselves or are considered by others to be fathers and mothers in service of Jesus' body.

Somehow we all have forgotten—you and I alike—that we will be held accountable for each word we speak. Or, as my sister-in-law Esther pointed out to me the other day, for every word you and I post on Facebook or whatever social media outlet you fancy. Jesus tells us, "For every idle word that men speak, they will give an account on the Day of Judgment" (Matt. 12:36b).

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Our trigger-finger posting impulse is exposing our hearts. And what the x-ray is revealing is not the fruit of the Spirit but that of the flesh. As I looked over one particular historically inaccurate, misleading, divisive social media post, my anger reached a flash point.

To be honest, it made my chest hurt. Please know this—I am not exaggerating. I held my breath, trying to wrap my mind around both my anger and as well as to wonder, What in the world would possess someone to think this was a good idea, let alone to post it on a social media outlet? How is this drawing people to His light? How is this bringing glory to Jesus? I just had no words. I felt overwhelmed with anger, and I knew I needed a way out.

The Way of the Cross: Hebrews 13:12–13

In my quick-burning anger, the beginnings of a murderous spirit rose up in me. It started with murmurs about this brother's posts, the under-the-breath, "Well I wish I ... " or "I ought to ... " But wait a minute, Nayomi, whatever happened to "Bear with one another and forgive one another. If anyone has a quarrel against anyone, even as Christ forgave you, so you must do" (Col. 3:13)?

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