“I tell you, on the day of judgment men will render account for every careless word they utter; for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned” – Matthew 12:36-37)
Jesus is clear in the Gospel of Matthew that our words have power. Our words can be a tool used to help ourselves, and others, to forgiveness and life or they can condemn us. That includes the words we type on social media.
These past few years have proven a challenge for most individuals in the United States and around the world. Political differences crushed friendships, ruined relationships, and fostered a culture of hate. The battle against COVID-19 created resentment, bitterness, and anger among those who disagreed with the words of others. However, most importantly, our words destroyed or helped heal. Which did your words did? What did your social media posts do? Did your Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram condemn you?
In Matthew 12:34 we see Jesus speaking to those who have wrongfully used words. “You brood of vipers! How can you speak good things, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” Jesus was clear you cannot walk into Mass on Sunday morning proclaiming the forgiveness, love and mercy of our Lord and then logon Sunday night and spew hatred toward those with whom you disagree. We can disagree, even hate, the actions of a person but our words should never be directed toward the individual or reflect a manner of demeaning the value or dignity of a person’s worth. We were all purchased with a price. We were all purchased with the blood of Jesus and that blood flows freely over all who would accept it. The thief on the cross, during his last moments on earth, accepted the forgiveness that came from that blood. We should never be a stumbling block for someone to receive Jesus. Our words should be used to point others toward Jesus. The power of our words should lead to redemption, not condemnation.
Our words reveal our heart. Jesus said that out of the heart the mouth speaks. If you want to know someone’s heart, listen to their words. What do your words say about your heart?
Today, think before you type. Reflect before you speak. Are the words coming from your mouth or your fingers edifying or condemning? Do they point others toward Jesus or away from Him?