Sunday, April 12, 2020
The other day I received an advertisement for a new book. The author was warning people about the ways online interaction falls short of true Christian fellowship. Of course, the book and advertisement were put together months ago. Neither the author nor the publisher anticipated that it would arrive in the middle of a pandemic when our interaction is limited to phone calls, emails, and social media discussions. Oops!
At the moment, we are all keenly aware that online interaction cannot replace being face-to-face. But we might also be exaggerating the difference. What I mean is that we seem to be comfortable saying and doing things online that we would never say or do in the presence of other people. We need to remember that being on the internet does not make these words or actions any less foolish or in some cases sinful.
As wise as he was, I doubt that King Solomon ever imagined anything like the internet. However, the wisdom of his 3,000-year-old proverbs still applies to life online in the twenty-first century. Here are some that I would encourage you to consider. You might even want to commit some of them to memory.
Proverbs 10:19 When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.
Proverbs 11:12-13 Whoever belittles his neighbor lacks sense, but a man of understanding remains silent. Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets, but he who is trustworthy in spirit keeps a thing covered.
Proverbs 12:16, 18 The vexation of a fool is known at once, but the prudent ignores an insult… There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
Proverbs 15:1-2 A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouths of fools pour out folly.
Proverbs 17:27-28 Whoever restrains his words has knowledge, and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding. Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.
Proverbs 18:13, 17 If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame… The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him.
Proverbs 18:19 A brother offended is more unyielding than a strong city, and quarreling is like the bars of a castle.
Proverbs 27:1-2 Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring. Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips.
– Bryan Craddock