Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Please, speak loving words.

As God's people, we are called to speak words that reflect Christ's love. There are many instructions about the tongue in the Old and New Testaments. One that I remember from Proverbs is: "a wholesome tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit".

Stacy McDonald has recently been attacked on the Internet. She writes:

Along with the growth of the Internet, the potential for sin has grown. Rather than gossiping with just one neighbor at a time, now the blogging housewife can count the hits on her site meter as she multiplies her possibilities.

Once, God commanded young widows "to marry, to have children, to manage their homes" because they had been "gossips and busybodies, saying things they ought not to" and "going about from house to house" (1 Timothy 5:13 - 14). Now, married women with children have access to all kinds of technology that allows them to go from house to house while they sit in the comfort of their own living rooms. The principal of this passage still applies, however. Women need to concentrate their attentions upon loving their husbands, loving their children, and being competent keepers at home (Titus 2) rather than "sharing" with other women. There are, of course, times to share and discuss. As Stacy says:

Let me be clear, I don't believe that an honest critique, or a godly debate or discussion, is an act of slander, libel, or gossip. Book reviews (that actually review a book—not the personal “impressions” the reviewer has about the author), discussions on email lists and blogs regarding a specific teaching or biblical truth, and even respectful debates can be fruitful. Iron sharpens iron and we can all learn a lot in these settings.

Obviously, Stacy has a blog and so she is not saying that women should not share insights or encouragement. However, I do wonder how any woman who is doing her utmost to care for her home and family has time to gossip and slander on the Internet. Personally, I find it hard enough to blog about all the positive, Bible based things that I dream of sharing. I also have little time for reading blogs, and gravitate toward those that affirm what God has designed rather than tear others down.

Please read Stacy's whole article We're Not Gossiping. We're Networking. This is an area of sin that many, many women, myself included, struggle with. While I don't tend toward it on the Internet, it is easy in everyday conversation to choose to share others' sins when it really isn't necessary. Lets purpose to resist the temptation. Lets speak loving words about God's people, even when we disagree with them. Tearing Christians down with our tongues is no way to treat those who will share heaven with us.

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