Fanning The Flames
Those who control their tongue will have a long life; opening your mouth can ruin everything.
– Proverbs 13:3 [NLT]
True wisdom can be measured by a person’s character. Just as we can judge a tree by its fruit, we can evaluate our wisdom by the way we act. Foolishness leads to disorder but wisdom leads to peace and goodness. This applies as much to what we say (or post) as how we act. Most of us demonstrate wisdom and humility in our daily interaction with others. When it comes to our behavior on social media however, we sometime lack the wisdom of self-control.
In a society as divided as it is today it’s almost impossible to share your opinion online without someone harshly attacking it, sometimes the attacks are personal. Our initial reaction is to respond in kind. The uncontrolled keyboard (tongue) can do terrible damage. It can divide people and pit them against one another. Hateful words are damaging because they spread destruction quickly, and no one can stop the results once they are spoken. A few words spoken in anger can destroy a relationship that took years to build.
Are you tempted to escalate conflict, pass on the gossip or fan the fire of discord? Before you click send, remember that words are like fire – you can neither control nor reverse the damage they can do. Careful, winsome speech and wise, loving words are the seeds of peace. Wisdom from above results in peace. Wisdom from below results in disharmony.
The tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness – James 3:6 NLT
Godly Wisdom vs. Worldy Wisdom
(from the Maxwell Leadership Bible)
Wisdom from Above
- Gentle and Generous
- Speaks the truth
- Pure and organized
- Results in peace
- The fruit of love and mercy
Wisdom from Below
- Selfishly ambitious and jealous
- Speaks lies and deceives
- Disorderly and demonic
- Results in disharmony
- The fruit of strive and competition
Lord, let your wisdom shine brightly in all that I say and do. May my words and actions be gentle and generous. Help me to speak words which bring peace and not disharmony. Let the fruit of my actions demonstrate your love and mercy.