"Think Before You Send"

I had an interesting conversation with 4 teenagers about Social Media this week and some things they had posted the last 2 weeks. One of them was trying to defend his rightto post his articles by saying“ I live in America and I am guaranteed freedom of speech!”  When I asked if they had checked to see if what they had posted was true The response was “It was on Facebook, it has to be true!”  So after I stopped silently laughing I asked a third question, “As a Christian, do I have the right to post things that may not be true, articles that offend others or articles just to stir things up? Do you think it changes the way people look at you?”  They spent a few minutes talking and decided there was nothing wrong after all there were no laws against doing it.  So I asked them to listen and to not say anything until I was finished reading from the Bible.

James 1:26

If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man's religion is worthless

Psalm 15:1-5

O LORD, who may abide in Your tent? Who may dwell on Your holy hill? He who walks with integrity, and works righteousness, And speaks truth in his heart. He does not slander with his tongue, Nor does evil to his neighbor, Nor takes up a reproach against his friend;

Psalm 19:14 

 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heartbe acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer.

Ephesians 4:29

Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear

Romans 13:13

 Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God.

After reading, I gave them a pencil, a copy of things they had posted in the last 3 weeks and the scripture above.  I then asked them to reread their post and see if any of God’s Words made them think differently about what they had posted. Their follow-up statements give me hope for them and is good advice for all of us. “What I post says a lot about me as a Christian and my walk with Christ.”  “My posts should line up with the Word of God.” “If God says it’s wrong I am wrong to say it’s ok.” One of the boys summed it up when he said, “I think I need to read these scriptures before I hit Send again.”