They are important.
We use them to communicate our basic needs. Many a parent has been relieved when their little one learns to use their words in order to tell them what they want…or don’t want. And we can read stories of families rejoicing when a loved one, lying in a hospital bed, is able to say a simple “yes” or “no” in response to their questions. We’ve also all been hurt by words at one time or another. In some cases, the lack of words when needed most. I’m sure we could, and would, all agree that words are important.
The Bible is God’s Word and in it we see how important words are to Him. He created with words.
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth…And God said, ‘Let there be light’, and there was light.” – Genesis 1:1 & 3.
In Proverbs He tells us that “a word fitly spoken is like apples of gold” and in the book of Matthew that “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks”. We could spend hours upon hours reading verses that tell us to encourage one another, speak truth, build one another up, and on, and on, and on the list goes.
It is easy for me to post something on Facebook and get a big number of “likes”. What is not so easy is to get comments. If the comments do start to add up, I know it’s either a bunch of “LOL”s for something funny or my post has stirred up a lively debate. However, more often than not, we are in too much of a hurry to take the 5 seconds to say anything and we settle for a simple “click” to express our “like”. Whatever that means.
When someone “likes” my post, my pin, my tweet, or latest instagram photo, what are they trying to say?
- Are they just being kind and courteous?
- Are they challenged by that quote, or do they just think it’s a nice saying?
- Are they thinking, “Nice family photo”, or “I love these people and am so glad God has put us in each other’s lives”?
- Do they think that my Throwback Thursday picture is funny, or are they too, reminiscing fond memories?
- Do they mean they like the fact that my son is in the hospital, or are they saying they are praying for him and I can call them if I need something?
While lots of “likes” can give us temporary, warm, fuzzy, feelings, they can also leave us wondering a lot of different things. It is sad that we want to be so connected to one another, yet still don’t have the time to actually type out our thoughts – a word of encouragement, a fond memory, a prayer written out, or how that quote spoke to us.
The most important words – God’s Word – says that when we love each other we will be patient with each other (1 Corinthians 13:4), outdo one another in showing honor (Romans 12:10), put the interests of each other before our own (Philippians 2:4), and won’t be rude or insist on doing things our own way (1 Corinthians 13:5). With these truths in mind, why not trying “typing” versus “liking”?
Let us together show one another love. Love that chooses to encourage one another with words rather than clicking “like” and scrolling on to see as much as possible in our rush to consume information. Love that doesn’t wait for the other person to initiate, but instead reaches out to them and starts a conversation rather than only responding to what they post. Love that puts their needs and likes ahead of our own and lets them know with words that we are available to help…or better yet, tell them a specific way you can help. Love that cares even when we don’t understand what is going on and breathes words of hope into others.
I’m not saying we should ditch the “like” button, but I am challenging myself, and you, to use our words more often for the glory of God!
Here are a few questions to ask yourself before you type or “like”:
- Is there something I can say to encourage this person?
- Is there something I can say to help this person?
- Is there something I can say to build this person up?
- And most importantly, if I say this, will it promote God’s glory or tear down His reputation?