In this digital age, our tongues have gone from living in a very small, confined space to a vast expanse with the potential of a worldwide audience.
God knows our thoughts, the intents of our hearts and everything in between, online or otherwise.
Our tongues, though sitting permanently and tiny in our mouths, have been let loose on the Internet. And very little is done sometimes in terms of taming our digital, small-but-mighty words.
God’s scriptures and instructions to keep our tongues in check take on a whole new meaning when we consider the digital world that is before us. As Christians we must hold ourselves to higher standards. Therefore we must learn to tame our tongues in any realms our thoughts and attitudes are displayed in, whether that’s in a face-to-face conversation or in the comment section of a YouTube page.
But for some reason, it can be easier to sling muddy words online. And unfortunately, the Internet is sometimes considered a free-for-all to say things on a whim, however hurtful or degrading.
The comment sections on any website are often a pit of some of the most disgusting thoughts and words in the human language, that even to read it can be inappropriate.
Scriptures are clear that no corrupt word should proceed out of our mouths. Our words are to impart grace and love to those on the receiving end of our speech (Ephesians 4:29 Ephesians 4:29Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace to the hearers.
American King James Version×).
The same is applied to how we speak online.
The Internet is not a free-for-all, because there’s never a free-for-all. God knows our thoughts, the intents of our hearts and everything in between, online or otherwise.
There is not a word spoken, a thought thunk or a word typed that He is not keenly aware of. He knows you through and through, and there’s not a firewall in the world that God can’t see through.
We cannot be blinded into thinking that what we post online doesn’t count.
So the questions we have to ask ourselves are what are our digital tongues saying? Words of peace and unity, or words of strife and discord? Words that build up or tear down? Words that teach or words that chastise? What is your digital tongue saying about Christ, for whom we are ambassadors?
Our words in every format need to be truthful and without deception. We must be careful to keep our digital tongues in check, because our digital character and who we are in real life are one and the same.
In both worlds, we need to make sure we are in line with the character of God.
It’s not always easy to see some of the negative things others post or say online and not say something. But when we tame the beast that is our tongue, it is light that shines from us and not the darkness of vengeful and defensive words.
The World Wide Web is vast indeed. And it can be a place where pot stirring and mudslinging reigns.
But we have an opportunity and command to be separate from all of that and make our words different, set apart and of great value to hearers and readers.
What will your digital tongue say about who you are?