“Go now, write it on a tablet for them, inscribe it on a scroll, that for the days to come it may be an everlasting witness.” Isaiah 30:8
This verse is on my signature line in my emails. When I began freelance writing for thelife.com in 2009, I picked this passage from Isaiah to remind me for Whom I write. Nine novels, hundreds of devotional articles for various websites and publications, and six non-fiction works later, it still guides me. I want whatever I write to point others to Jesus. Don’t you?
Even if you do not consider yourself a published writer, you probably write every day. And guess what? It is published. Each of us email, text, post, and place our thoughts into words over the Internet. It is easy to “spout off” and think we are doing so somewhat anonymously. Or “like” a negative comment on social media. We may share an off-color post or tweet thinking we’ll get a few giggles. What’s the harm in that?
But we are not anonymous nowadays, are we? In this cyberspace world, what we say often leaves a permanent mark. Decades from now people will be able to “pull up” our words.
It is hard to take back what we say in haste, hurt, or anger. James reminds us that a tongue can be a sword that can slash people’s feelings: “With our tongues we praise our Lord and Father, and we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness” (James 3:9). It must be tamed.
How much harder it is to delete words imprinted by technology! It may just be our indelible witness for ill or for good. My grandmother used to tell me to watch my mouth. Today, I think she’d say, “Watch your keystrokes.”
Dearest Lord, forgive us when we let our tongues, and our keystrokes, diverge from our witness of Your love, truth, and life-giving ways. Guide our thoughts before we commit them to words, either over the internet or face to face. We pray this in the name of Jesus, amen.
The next time you post or share or tweet, think about what you are doing. Are you promoting the Gospel? Would you be ashamed of or stand by those posts in the days, or even years to come?