“The Social Network Spark”

This weeks meditation:  “The Social Network Spark”
Read: James 3:1-12

In this third chapter of James the subject is taming the tongue.  In verse 5 it reads, “Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark.”

In the past month or two we have seen the power of social networking around the world.  Revolutions have been organized, people have been rescued, and the power of the internet has been in full display for all to see.

While James is writing about our speech in this passage, in today’s culture he could write about our keyboard as well.  We all know the damage that our tongues can do; Gossip, lies, deciet, manipulation, anger, cursing, bullying, and the list could go on.  Do we realize that many of those things happen via the keyboard or keypad today as well?

In a day when texting, Facebook, Twitter, and other things have started revolutions we need to consider the power they have in our relationships.  As James says, “one spark can start a great forest fire.”  If the tongue needs to be tamed then so do our interactions online as well.

As many of you know I am fully engaged with most of these online communications and I think they can be a positive thing if they are used for those purposes.  But so often it seems like people type before thinking about what they are saying or how it might affect others or even themselves.  We’ve heard the phrase “Think before you speak” and now we need to apply “Think before you type.”

James is encouraging us to use our words and our communication for good instead of evil.  He wants our interactions to reflect the ways of Christ and be beneficial for the building up of others and not tearing down.

The Message Bible says it well when it paraphrases Phillipians 4:8-9 to say, “Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious – the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.”

May those things also fill our screens as well!

Make it personal:  Maybe a simple prayer will help us focus on this in the week ahead….. “Lord Jesus, help me to control my tongue and my interactions with people in the various ways I communicate with others.  Forgive me for hurts I have caused and sparks that I have ignited.  Transform my heart, my mind, my mouth, and my fingers to be used in ways that glorify your name and your presence in my life.  Amen!”

Have a great week,
Glen Rhodes, Minister of Discipling and Community Life
Arthur Mennonite Church