‘The tongue can speak words that bring life or death. Those who love to talk must be ready to accept what it brings.’ Proverbs18:21 ERV
In these days of outrage and violent speech, where all too often looking for the best is traded for looking for the worst, where fear makes for good headlines, but common sense is ignored, this scripture has become a scalpel to my soul. I am grateful for the communication made possible by social media, bridging the distance between me and the people I love all around the world. But I am also aware that what I choose to post publicly always needs to be scrutinized under the white-hot magnifying lens of the Spirit of God, so that I don't pass on what at best is merely hear-say and, at worst, may affirm the plans of the enemy of our souls, plans to kill and maim, puff up with pride or breed sneaky fear.
God's ways STILL are not man's ways. We STILL are commanded to love our enemies, whether we like it or not, whether they live near us or far away. Perhaps the problem is we don’t really trust God: “Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, “I will take revenge; I will pay them back,” says the LORD’ (Romans. 12:19) or ‘Do not say, "I will avenge this evil!" Wait on the LORD, and He will save you’ (Proverbs 20:22).
Truthfully, we like to avenge ourselves. It makes us feel powerful and in control of our lives. The ‘influencers’ of social media are also quick to assure us that we deserve better – better goods, better lives, better treatment from those around us. But this is scalpel day for me and the Holy Spirit whispers insistently: ‘Owe nothing to anyone—except for your obligation to love one another. If you love your neighbor, you will fulfill the requirements of God’s law.’
Blessedly, the rest I can leave to God.