Status Accountability

If it’s true that encouragement can change people, then it must also be true that discouragement can as well, only not for the good.  Discouragement removes joy, causes doubt, questions abilities, and can make one want to give up.  No doubt we’ve all experienced it.  Certainly none of us want to be the cause of it.

Social media has increased our accountability.  Consider the words of Jesus:

I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned” (Matt. 12:36, 37).

Our words impact others and we are being held accountable for each and every one.  With every posted status or comment, we must ask, “Will this bring sunshine or gloom to the reader?”  Of course I’m not talking about prayer requests.  It is blessing to be able to “rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep” (Rom. 12:15).  I’m talking about ways we might negatively impact others.  For instance:

  • If the very first time we contact someone is to object, criticize, or point out a perceived wrong, it probably won’t have the kind of effect we hope it will.  Relationship is necessary.  Just because we are “friends” or followers on social media doesn’t mean we’ve built the kind of rapport essential to any kind of admonishment being well received.
  • While venting may temporarily relieve our own frustration, it really doesn’t do much for the reader no matter how wittily we word it.  Everyone experiences bad customer service, careless drivers on the road, messed up orders, or any number of life’s daily annoyances.  What do we hope to gain by sharing it?  Sympathy?  The comments generally show that all we’re doing is reminding others how frustrating life can be.  Surely we want to accomplish something better than that with our words.  Complaining is just a bad habit (Phil. 2:14).
  • We’re not going to agree with everything written or posted, but let’s choose our battles wisely.  And let’s consider our influence as Christians with the tone we use.  No matter how “right” we may be, sarcasm still sounds obnoxious.
  • And finally, we really are not meant to be the Police of Social Media.  Let’s not be Facebook trollers out to catch others doing bad.  Let’s catch others doing good.  While there may be times when we can and should offer a gentle word (in private) of admonishment, more often than not we can and should offer grace.

We know that we should think before we speak.  Sometimes we need to be reminded to think before we post as well.

“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear” (Eph. 4:29).

Prayer for Today:  Help me use my words, Lord, to draw others closer to You.

Image credit: Facebook (mslk.com)

I See Good People

You find what you’re looking for, right?   I appreciate all those who use social media to encourage others and there are lots!  Below you’ll find just a glimpse of all the good people I’ve seen this past week.  Enjoy, and happy Monday!

1.  Tweeted by Allen Webster:

To free yourself from guilt, you must practice the 4 R’s:

  •  Repentance Acts 8:22
  • Restitution Lk. 19:8
  • Reformation Rm. 6:4
  • Rejoicing Psa. 51:12

2.  Because I LOVE it when spouses encourage each other, here’s a post by Kara Davidson to her husband (with permission, of course):

You did an amazing job with your sermons the past few weeks! Linder is so blessed to have two outstanding ministers! Love you!

3.  Beautiful, beautiful blog post about anxiety by Emily Hatfield…prepare to be touched:

http://emilyhat.com/be-anxious-for-nothing/

4.  Sweet friend Wendy Chesser keeping it real on facebook:

Ya know, when you are asked to lead a prayer for a Ladies event (and you are too embarrassed to say no) and you want the truth about how you did….just ask your 14 year-old daughter, who replied to my asking, by saying, “Well, it was nice, but….you kinda’ made this giant sniff and everybody heard the snot rattle in your nose”…just like to apologize for that!!! ;O)”

5.  From my favorite humorist, Celine Sparks:

I thought I would count a different kind of sheep in order to get to sleep last night. I would think of a preacher for each letter of the alphabet (first name). I got all the way to Alan Highers.

6.  Under the category of Practical and Outstanding, Neal Pollard‘s blog article about what to do when you’re given the cold shoulder:

http://preacherpollard.wordpress.com/2014/02/26/warming-up-the-cold-shoulder/

7.  Wise facebook post from consummate encourager, Jeff Archey:

I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well” (Ps. 139:14). Was reading this AM and it brought to mind the commercial of the couple at the concert looking for their little boy and they looked on the stage and there he was…seated at the piano of the world renowned entertainer everyone gathered to see. The little boy was playing “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” as a child would when the entertainer walked up behind him, paused and looked and said, “Keep playing.” The famous pianist added in notes and melodies and it harmonized beautifully. Like that little child, we as children of God have days that may be gloomy and down; sometime boring to ourselves and others. But as we are “fearfully and wonderfully made,” our Father God grants us individuals and moments that brings forth the melodies in our lives and it harmonizes beautifully to His glory. Look for them daily…it starts with me…and you.  Let’s keep playing…and keep living.”

8.  New on the scene:

-Written by Christian young men, check out “Let No One Look Down” on facebook       and at their blog site:

http://redbirdsfan6.wordpress.com/

-Terrific posts by Shanna Anderson!  Follow her new blog and be sure to like her facebook page as well (Life in the Cleft):

http://lifeinthecleft.com/

Prayer for Today:  Bless those, Lord, who encourage others by their words and actions.

*This post can also be found at http://proverbs14verse1.blogspot.com/2014/03/wise-woman-linkup.html.

Writers of “Let No One Look Down” (Photo credit: Neal Pollard)