Words, Wisdom, and How to Encourage

My Face Book status yesterday implied that an increasing number of folks either can’t or won’t express their opinion without insulting someone.  They can’t just express their displeasure at the president for not honoring a fallen service man, but have to take a vicious swipe at a deceased celebrity to make their point; can’t express their displeasure with the Pope without insulting Catholics everywhere; can’t express annoyance without dropping the f-bomb.

Many times we hear the warning that our children will not learn socialization skills because our  advanced technology allows us to avoid face to face interaction.  I’m beginning to fear that it’s worse than that.  Based on some of the comments I read online, it seems that people are learning that its ok to be anti-social. Our kids are watching, learning and following suit. There is an entire generation growing up with this technology, learning that filtering their thoughts through their brain before allowing them to emerge from their mouths is unnecessary.

“Friends” who would never insult another person to their face feel free to insult multiple people with their unsolicited opinions, crude language and deliberately hostile remarks.  I think that if we’re going to remain a civilized society, we’ll need to use the same self-control online that (most of us) would use in a face to face conversation, bearing in mind that behind every avatar is a real person. 

So, to finish out this post I offer this reprint of an article from Lifeway.  Whether or not you are a believer of any kind, I think that the wisdom of the proverb stands.

When there are many words, sin is unavoidable, but the one who controls his lips is wise. Proverbs 10:19, HCSB

Every time you speak, your words have the potential either to bring joy to others or to cause great pain.

Words of encouragement don’t always come easily. Building up others requires that we first think about what they need to hear, and then allow the Holy Spirit time to give us the words he wants us to say. This requires setting aside the desire to do all the talking, focusing our attention instead on the other person. It means resisting the urge to interrupt every time we think of something to say.

A fool, on the other hand, doesn’t think before speaking. A fool is never concerned about saying the right thing at the right time. Opportunities to say an encouraging word are often lost, because the fool is unprepared and preoccupied with selfish thoughts. Some of the deepest hurts people carry throughout life have come from careless words spoken to them by a fool.

Have you missed opportunities to bless others because you were too busy talking to listen to them? Are you in the habit of blurting out comments without thinking of the potential damage your words could cause?

Commit yourself to becoming a wise person whose words bring comfort and encouragement. Ask questions, listen more, and talk less. You’ll be pleased with the results, and so will those around you.

If you speak the truth, but say it in the wrong way, what kind of damage can that do?


credited to Lifeway, Feb 13, 2013


One comment on “Words, Wisdom, and How to Encourage”

  1. I have just signed off of Face Book, a world where people feel free to say whatever falls out of their mouth.

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