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Minding our words in a Twitter world

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POSTED: August 26, 2013 8:00 p.m.

Every generation looks at its elders and wonders why those folks are so hopeless out of date.
Sometimes, the issue is music. Other times, it is the clothes that are worn. But today, it more often is about the use of technology.
Take me, for instance. I still read books. As far as I am concerned a Nook is something that you search carefully along with a cranny (and if that doesn’t make sense to you, ask your grandparents). I read the newspaper, and evidently so do you. Once a week, I sit down and pay my bills by writing checks, stuffing envelopes and mailing them. That is the one that amuses my sons so much. They claim they have an easier way. I happen to like my way.
But one of the ways I prove my age is that I do not “twit.”  Oh, I know the word is “tweet,” but here’s the way I view it.  It is called Twitter, and the majority of stuff I hear about being posted on it clearly has been posted by twits. Thus, I refer to the practice as “twitting.”  
My reasoning behind my refusal to get on Twitter is simple: I think and say foolish things from time to time. I am aware that what James wrote in his letter, 3:10, is true: “From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.” James recognized that human beings sometimes struggle to control their tongues. I know that is true for me.
Most of us have our moments. Twitter is just one more outlet for me to say something dumb, so I refrain.
Please understand me: Twitter, in and of itself, is not evil. But oh, how we need a filter over the words we say! Some of the best advice my dad ever gave me was when he said, “Son, you don’t have to say everything you think.” But too many times, either in spoken word or on social media today, we say things that would be better left unsaid.  
In chapter 3 of his book, James speaks a great deal about controlling the tongue. We know that spoken words hurt. We can claim otherwise, but when a friend says something mean-spirited about us, it is painful.  I encourage you to do as your mother said, “Watch your mouth.” That is exactly what God is teaching in this passage.  
We all need to be careful about the words we speak. God gave us lips and tongues to praise him and tell others about him. Use your mouth wisely. Speak words of hope and encouragement. And when in doubt, don’t say it at all.
That’s a much better idea than twitting.  Don’t you think?

 

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