Tuesday, October 9, 2012

30 Days of Authenticity- Day 1: Own your words

I've probably lost my mind for trying mobile blogging, but as the last ten months have proven, any other type of blogging is nonexistent thanks to my sweet Prissy. Regardless of publishing methods, I really feel led to explore thoughts on what it means to live with authenticity. Between statistics in the news and people we know struggling to find identity, it's time to live with purpose and transparency. Let's see what that looks like when words are involved.

We're completely naive to think our words don't matter. In a world saturated with technology, it takes nothing more than a click to share your thoughts on something or someone. Within seconds, friends, acquaintances, strangers, and your not-so-favorite people can know exactly what you think and feel about anything and everything.

That should make transparency more attainable than ever, right? It can make it more attainable, but it can have incredibly negative consequences if we don't share every word, verbal or typed, with intention. Own your words. Don't let them own you. Does that mean you can't have a bad day? We're going to have crappy days--that's just life. However, a crappy day isn't an excuse to blow your witness and contradict the gospel you claim to believe. Harsh? Maybe, but it's necessary. Use your brain. God gave it to you for a reason.

In our tech-savvy world, we actually have an advantage. We have the opportunity to edit before we post or press send. Before we post, tweet, or reply, we've got make sure we're using our words carefully and intentionally. We've got to remember that the words we share reflect our God.

James 3 reminds us that the tongue is a fire; it may not be the most physically dominant part of our bodies, but it has lots of power. Are we using that power for good or bad? Are we trying to encourage or destroy? Even if we feel justified in having negative thoughts about a topic or person, remember that our words have power and we have more influence than ever thanks to social media. Having an avenue to say something (whether fact or opinion) doesn't mean we should say it. Filter it. If it's not beneficial, keep it to yourself.

Make a conscious effort to speak intentionally and carefully. Proverbs 15:1-2 says "A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly, but the mouth of fools pours foolishness." Don't be foolish with your words. Care about the consequences. Care about your influence. Make a difference. Be real. Care about your testimony. Many nonbelievers use "hypocrites" as their justification to not believe in The God we serve. No one expects us to be perfect, but if we're living with purpose and authenticity, we can be the believers that lead others to know Him, rather than the ones who drive them away. Be responsible. Own your words.

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