Roseanne Barr, famous comedienne, recently had the revival of her namesake sitcom cancelled after an ill-considered tweet she sent in the middle of the night. Was she treated fairly? Many in our culture are pondering that very question.
The number of people whose careers have ended because of words spoken or written in haste continues to grow. For generations God has warned humanity of the dangers words pose to the reputation and the future success of every individual. Take a few moments and refresh your memory with a few proverbs:
"Where there are many words...
...transgression is unavoidable, But he who restrains his lips is wise.” -Proverbs 10:19
“The one who guards his mouth preserves his life; The one who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.” -Proverbs 13:3
“In the mouth of the foolish is a rod for his back, But the lips of the wise will protect them.” -Proverbs 14:3
“He who guards his mouth and tongue, Guards his soul from troubles.” -Proverbs 21:23
God warns us continually that our mouths will get us in trouble if we do not actively consider and filter what comes out of them. Social media in every form has provided more avenues for more people to spout more words from their mouth-fountains than ever before. In an unguarded instant an entire career is destroyed. More troubling than the effects words have on the future of this earthly life are the effects they have on eternity after. Jesus said, “…every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned” (Matt. 12:36-37). Consider well the words that proceed from the tip of your tongue, and your fingers. Make your words wise, make them give grace to those who hear (Eph. 4:29) Make your words a blessing, rather than a retaliation (Rom. 12:14).
When these types of events transpire it is valuable to direct our thoughts to the Scriptures and learn from God’s wisdom rather than debate about whether others reacted fairly to an unwise choice. Make wise choices, use words wisely, and honor God.
Eli Schnell is the Youth and Family Minister at the Northwest Church of Christ
6059 Azle Avenue
Fort Worth, TX 76135