“This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger...,” (James 1:19).
Most Christians have either read or heard this verse. I’ve sat through sermons and Bible study lessons in which the verse was preached. I’ve even preached and taught it myself a few times. Typically, I’ve heard and used this verse as it relates to interpersonal relationships. And while this verse is important in discussions about interpersonal relationships, looking at this verse as it relates to social media is equally important.
We live in a fast-paced society in which most people have access to the internet via a mobile device. Social media has given a platform to every voice. We can Facebook, Tweet, Instagram, even Snap all day, every day. We have 24-hour access to share our thoughts on everything from politics and religion to movie reviews and our favorite celebrities. We can create new posts, comment on posts, screenshot posts, and much, much more. Our potential to “go viral” increases with each post. And it seems the more controversial, outlandish, or divisive the posts, the quicker they go viral. What’s a Christian woman’s responsibility in today’s world where she has access to the internet via telephones and tablets in the palm of our hands?
We must recognize that James 1:19 applies to our interactions on social media as much as it pertains to our face-to-face interactions. Being quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger is vital to social media when we realize dozens, if not hundreds, even thousands of people can read the posts we share and tweet on social media. Just because we can post our every thought doesn’t mean we should.
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