Michael Brown on Even YouTube Recognizes the Destructive Power of Words

The announcement sounded promising: “YouTube to Remind Users Not to be a Jerk in the Comment Sections.” The reality is that this initiative doesn’t have a chance of succeeding. That’s because the internet has proven to be the perfect place for us to act like jerks, with few consequences and almost no accountability.

Hiding behind the anonymity of our screen names, or using our real names but at a safe distance from those we speak about, we can insult, malign, castigate, accuse, belittle, mock and curse to our heart’s content. We can gossip, we can slander, we can speculate about motives, we can judge hearts, and we can throw around opinions that destroy people’s lives and reputations.

No wonder Jacob (James) wrote, “The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell” (James 3:6, NIV).

These are strong words, indeed, especially when you consider the billions of words being spilled everyday online and in texts and conversations. We really are setting the whole world on fire with our tongues.

No wonder Proverbs teaches that “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit” (Prov. 18:21).

Do the words we post online, the words we speak, the words we text, bring life or death? Do they destroy lives, or do they save lives?

Paul wrote in Ephesians 4:29-30, not as a suggestion but as a directive to believers: “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.”

Yet day after day, with endless posts and comments (and memes), we air our negative opinions about everybody under the sun, from politicians to preachers and from celebrities to church members. How does this line up with Paul’s instructions? In times past, this would have been considered gossip and even slander. Does the internet somehow turn prohibited speech into permitted speech? Hardly.

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SOURCE: Charisma News

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